Supreme Court turns down sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhat’s plea seeking security for his family

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain sacked Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhat’s plea seeking security for his family.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer asked Bhat to approach the Gujarat High Court with his plea.

On October 4 last year, the apex court dismissed his wife Shweta Bhat’s plea, challenging the police probe and his judicial custody in a 22-year-old case of alleged planting of drugs to arrest an advocate, and said he could approach an “appropriate forum” for relief.

The apex court had held it was not appropriate for it to interfere in the ongoing investigation.

Bhat was suspended in 2011 on charges of remaining absent from duty without permission and misuse of official vehicles and later sacked in August 2015.

His wife Shweta had unsuccessfully contested assembly election as a Congress party candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Maninagar constituency in Ahmedabad in 2012.

Sanjiv Bhatt and seven others, including some former policemen attached with the Banaskantha Police, were initially detained for questioning in the case. Bhat was Banaskantha district superintendent of police in 1996.

According to the police, Banaskantha Police under Bhatt arrested an advocate called Sumersingh Rajpurohit in 1996 on charges of possessing around 1 kg of drugs.

At the time, Banaskantha Police claimed that drugs were found in a hotel room occupied by Rajpurohit in the district’s Palanpur town.

However, a probe by Rajasthan Police concluded that Rajpurohit was allegedly falsely implicated by Banaskantha Police to compel him to transfer a disputed property at Pali in Rajasthan.

It also claimed to have found that Rajpurohit was allegedly abducted by Banaskantha Police from his residence at Pali.

Following the Rajasthan Police investigation, former inspector of Banaskantha I B Vyas moved the Gujarat High Court in 1999 demanding a thorough inquiry into the matter.

In June this year, the high court handed over the probe in the case to the CID while hearing the petition and asked it to complete the probe in three months.

Supreme Court notice to Gujarat on IPS officer’s plea for nixing FIR

The Supreme Court today sought Gujarat government’s response on suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s plea for quashing a criminal case lodged against him for allegedly hacking the state’s Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta’s e-mail account.

Bhatt, who is at loggerheads with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, sought quashing of the First Information Report in the case against him, refuting all the allegations levelled in it and asserting that the state was harassing him.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai issued notice to the Gujarat government on Bhatt’s plea, seeking its response by the next date of hearing.

Bhatt also made an alternative plea for the transfer of the case to the CBI for an independent probe into it.

The state police had filed an FIR against Bhatt on August 5 on a complaint by Mehta alleging that Bhatt had hacked his e-mail account and had passed on the information to others.

“These communications contain my personal, official, and legal correspondences which were not only unauthorisedly seen by Bhatt but also shared with others for ulterior motive, which, apart from being a criminal offence, violates my right of privacy,” Mehta had said in his complaint.

The Gujarat Police had later transferred the case to the Cyber Cell of its Crime Branch.