A Gujarat court today sentenced former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to life imprisonment after finding him guilty in a custodial death case. A local court in Jamnagar convicted him and another person in connection with a case in Jamjodhpur village.
The case dates back to 1990 when Sanjiv Bhatt was posted as Additional Superintendent of Police in Gujarat’s Jamnagar district.
The quantum of punishment for the other policemen convicted in the case is yet to be announced.
According to news reports, he had detained more than a hundred people during a communal riot and one of the persons had died in the hospital.
The person who was kept in jail for nine days, died ten days after being released on bail. Medical records revealed his cause of death as renal failure, but the deceased’s brother had lodged a first information report (FIR) naming Sanjiv Bhatt and six other policemen, alleging them of torturing him while in detention.
At present, Bhatt is in custody in an alleged drug planting case of 1996, and the Supreme Court had last month dismissed his bail plea in that case.
The Supreme Court had also rejected Bhatt’s plea of examination of additional witnesses in this case.
Stating that the examination of these 11 witnesses was crucial to arrive at a fair decision, Bhatt had moved the apex court.
In April 2011, Bhatt had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court accusing the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi of complicity in the 2002 riots. Bhatt was removed from the police service, on the ground of ‘unauthorised absence’, and later sacked.
In October 2015, the Supreme Court had dismissed Bhatt’s plea for constituting a special investigation team (SIT) for cases filed against him by Gujarat Government.