Charges to be framed in 1990 case against Bhatt
Jamnagar: Decks were cleared for framing of
charges against suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who is at
loggerheads with Narendra Modi government, in an over two
decade-old case of alleged police atrocity with a local court on Tuesday rejecting his plea to pardon the delay in filing review
Bhatt's application was turned down by judge NP Solanki
in Jamkhambhalia in the 1990 case against him and other
officers which had resulted in the death of one person.
Bhatt's lawyer IH Sayed said they would be challenging
the rejection of their condonation of delay plea in the
Gujarat High Court soon.
Public prosecutor Vimal Chotai said that the next
hearing in the case has been scheduled on February 28, when
the court would decide on framing of charges against Bhatt.
He said that the court was also in the process
of hearing discharge pleas of six other accused in the case.
Bhatt has not filed discharge application till date.
Bhatt has also approached the Supreme Court,
challenging a Gujarat High Court order, denying him relief by
way of stay on criminal proceedings against him in the case.
The High Court, while refusing to stay the criminal
proceeding against Bhatt, had observed that the framing
of charges against Bhatt would be subject to outcome of his
criminal revision and condonation of delay applications which
the Jamnagar court would be deciding upon.
Chotai said with the rejection of condonation of delay
application, Bhatt's plea in Supreme Court is likely to become
Bhatt had created a flutter by implicating Chief Minister
Naredra Modi in the 2002 riots.
According to case details, one Prabhudas Vaishnani,
who was arrested during a communal flare-up in Jamkhambhalia
town in Jamnagar in 1990, died in a hospital few days after he
was released from police custody.
Following this, Vaishnani's brother Amrutlal filed
complaint against Bhatt and six others. The Gujarat government
then took the position that Bhatt and others had acted in
discharge of duty and filed a revision petition in the session
court in 1996, halting the criminal proceedings.
This revision petition was withdrawn by the state
government in July last year, thereby exposing Bhatt and
others to prosecution.