Sanjiv Bhatt sent to judical custody

Sanjiv Bhatt sent to judical custody

A local court in Palanpur, North Gujarat, on Thursday sent former IPS official arrested in a case of planting drugs and arresting a man in 1996 to judicial custody. The court also rejected a plea by the state criminal investigation department (CID) police that had sought a 14-day police custody for Bhatt.

The state CID had arrested Bhatt and detained seven others, including the then inspector of Palanpur police station I B Vyas on Wednesday. The CID produced them before Additional Judicial Magistrate VR Charan in Palanpur city of Banaskantha district, seeking 14-day custody.

In custody, the police get to have physical custody of the accused and can lodge them in a lock-up of a police station. However, the accused remains in custody of the magistrate and is lodged in jail if one is sent to judicial custody.

The court on Friday accepted the arguments by defence lawyer the plea of CID be rejected for police remand as the case was over two decades old and a plea in this connect is pending before the apex court. The local court ordered that accused be accordingly sent to judicial custody at Palanpur sub-jail.

According to the details of the case, Banaskantha police had in 1996 arrested Sumersingh Rajpurohit, a lawyer, on the charges of possessing about a kilogram of drugs that were found from hotel room he was residing in. However, later investigations revealed that the lawyer was falsely implicated to pressurise him to vacate a disputed property in Pali, Rajasthan.

Sanjiv Bhatt, who has been an open critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the 2002 Gujarat riots, was sacked by the Union Home Ministry in August 2015 for a long "unauthorised absence" from his service.