SC refuses relief to sacked Guj IPS officer Bhatt

Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt.

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with the investigation launched against a dismissed Gujarat cadre IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt in a matter related to alleged framing of an advocate in 1996 drug peddling case.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph also found that a plea moved by Bhatt's wife, Shweta, alleging that the officer was not allowed to sign 'Vakalatnama' after his arrest, did no longer survive as he has been sent to judicial custody.

The top court also refused to consider the plea by Shweta's counsel that the case in which arrest was made had already been investigated and the proceedings were stayed by the apex court.

"The matter was in hibernation for years after 14-15...but it would not be appropriate and necessary to go into it, in view of highly contentious facts," the bench said.

The bench, however, allowed the petitioner to seek legal remedy before the high court or an appropriate court.

On Shweta's plea, the bench had earlier asked the Gujarat government to file its response.

“If a citizen is saying, her husband is not allowed to approach the court, it is a serious issue. Individual here does not matter,” the bench has then said.

On Thursday, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the state government, contended there were CCTV footages to show that Bhatt had met with his lawyers and relatives during the custody.

Bhatt, a known critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was arrested by the CID, Gujarat police on September 5 in the 1996 case pertaining to framing of a Rajasthan-based advocate, Sumersingh Rajpurohit in the narcotics peddling case, when he was serving as superintendent of police, Banaskantha district.

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SC refuses relief to sacked Guj IPS officer Bhatt

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