The investigations by the Gujarat CID in the 1996 Palanpur Drug planting case has revealed that the former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who was then the Superintendent of Police of Banaskantha district, gave Rs 20,000 to a policeman to buy opium from a particular place to falsely implicate the lawyer, reported Indian Express.
According to the reports, the accused former cop Sanjiv Bhatt had allegedly instructed the policemen to buy 1kg of the illegal substance and plant it against Rajasthan based lawyer Sumersingh Rajpurohit in Palanpur, the Gujarat CID-Crime has stated in its 550-page charge sheet.
Reportedly, Bhatt had instructed constable Malabhai Rabari and gave him money to buy the contraband from Sherpura in Deesa tehsil of Banaskantha district. Malabhai Rabari, following Bhatt’s instructions, brought the opium on April 29, 1996, in a violet coloured bag which was then allegedly placed in the cupboard of Local Crime Branch police (LCB) Inspector Indravadan Vyas.
The charge sheet filed by the CID-Crime alleged that the same bag was placed in room number 305 of Lajwanti city hotel in Palanpur a day later and a ‘fake raid’ was conducted under the supervision of Vyas, based on which Rajput was arrested.
The charge sheet further said that on May 1st, 1996 the LCB team then went on to raid Sherapura and registered four cases under narcotics Act and “recovered 35.620 gram of opium”. The police then recovered bags containing 1 kg to 2 kg of opium. The CID claim that the opium planted at the Lajwanti hotel and the ones which were seized in the raid were of the same category.
Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was arrested by the Gujarat CID in September over a case of planting drugs. The Palanpur Drug planting case pertains to an incident in 1996 when Sanjiv Bhatt was serving as the DCP of Banaskantha. He was then accused of trying to frame lawyer Sumersingh Rajpurohit in a fake narcotics case under Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act by planting 1.25 kg opium in a hotel room in Palanpur in Banaskantha district in 1996. The then inspector of Banaskantha Crime Branch, Indravadan Vyas, was also arrested.
Sanjiv Bhatt’s wife Shweta Bhatt has filed petitions challenging the investigation, but the Supreme Court has dismissed their petition saying that the facts of the case are highly contentious, and said the Court will not intervene in the investigations.