The Supreme Court will Nov 18 hear a petition by suspended Indian Police Service officer Sanjiv Bhatt challenging the Gujarat government’s stand in a trial court which may adversely impact him in a 1990 case linked to a suspect’s death in Jamnagar district.
An apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan said the matter would be listed on its scheduled Nov 18 date after Bhatt’s counsel D. Sharma did not press for a stay of the trial court framing charges.
The framing of charges was Tuesday put off by the Gujarat High Court till Nov 21. Sharma told the apex court that the high court had itself extended the stay and thus, there was no immediate need for action.
Bhatt was posted as assistant superintendent of police in Jam Jodhpur area of Jamnagar district in 1990 when during a flare-up, police took 133 people into custody.
All the arrested people were released Nov 8, 1990. One of them, Prabhu Das Vaishnavi, who was later admitted to hospital, died Nov 18, 1990.
The matter was investigated by the Crime Branch, which submitted a closure report saying that there was nothing against the police officers.
The post-mortem report of Vaishnavi said that there were no external or internal injury marks and he died of renal failure, Bhatt’s counsel I.M. Syed said.
The findings of the Crime Branch were not accepted by the local court which took cognisance of the case.
The Gujarat government then took the position that its officials had acted in discharge of their official responsibilities and filed a revision petition in the session court in 1996.
The state government later withdrew the revision petition, thereby exposing Bhatt to face prosecution.
Bhatt contended that the government was doing all this to victimise him as he had accusing Chief Minister Narendra Modi of complacity in the during 2002 communal riots in the state.