The Gujarat High Court has dismissed a petition by controversial IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, seeking relief in a police atrocity case of 1990, relating to communal riots in Jamnagar district.
However, Justice R H Shukla yesterday granted a stay against framing charges against Mr Bhatt in the case till November 8 so that he can challenge the order in a higher court.
Bhatt had filed the petition challenging the state government decision to withdraw its application from Jamnagar sessions court, demanding that charges against the policemen be dropped. The application was pending in court since 1996.
The case related to the death of one Prabhudas Vaishanani allegedly due to custodial torture at Jamjodhpur police station in October 1990, after he along with 150 others were detained in connection with riots at Jamjodhpur town. Prabhudas, after his release, was hospitalised and he died of renal failure. Mr Bhatt was Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) at Jamnagar at that time.
Prabhudas’s brother Amrutlal Vaishnani lodged an FIR against Bhatt and six other police officials, charging them with custodial murder. The state government did not grant sanction to prosecute them, saying the officers had discharged their duty in good faith.
Though the investigating agency submitted a closure report, the magisterial court rejected it after which the state government filed the revision application in sessions court demanding dropping the charge in the case.
After Mr Bhatt fell foul with the present government recently, the state government decided to withdraw its application seeking dropping of charges.