Custodial death case: Sanjiv Bhatt moves HC

Custodial death case: Sanjiv Bhatt moves HC

Ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt

Ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has moved the Gujarat High Court in an alleged custodial death case in Jamnagar, challenging the order of the trial court which rejected his plea for summoning nearly 40 witnesses, including former Directors General of Police P P Pandey, H P Singh and Director General of Police (Admin) T S Bisht.

The case was lodged in Jamnagar district way back in 1990. He had moved an application in the trial court that prosecution had cited over 300 witnesses but during the trial only 32 of them were examined. Bhatt gave a list of 40 witnesses for examining during his defence.

Bhatt had pleaded in court that former DGPs Pandey, Singh and current DGP Bisht are crucial witnesses who ‘investigated the offence in question and/or are directly in knowledge of the alleged offence. Though they were shown as witnesses, later they were dropped.” These three officers were superior to Bhatt when the incident occurred nearly three decades back in Jamnagar. 

Prosecution opposes

The prosecution opposed Bhatt’s plea on the ground that “the matter has been prolonged for about three decades and some of the witnesses are either not alive or not capable of deposition, and prosecution examined the available witnesses.” The prosecution also said that Pandey, Singh and Bisht are “not required to be examined as prosecution witnesses.” The special sessions court judge D M Vyas rejected Bhatt’s plea. Against this order, Bhatt moved the high court, which is likely to hear the case on Friday.

Bhatt is behind bars since his arrest in September last year by Gujarat CID (Crime) for allegedly framing a Rajasthan-based lawyer in a narcotics case more than two decades ago.