The Gujarat High Court while rejecting tainted ex-cop Sanjiv Bhatt’s suspension of sentence plea observed that he has ‘made a deliberate attempt to mislead the court and he was guilty of suppressio veri and suggestio falsi (suppression of truth and suggestion of falsehood).’ The court also observed that Bhatt had ‘scant regard for the truth’. The order [pdf], which was passed on 25th September by Justice Bela Trivedi, was made public on Monday, October 7.
“At this juncture, the Court, after having considered the evidence on record as well as the findings recorded by the Sessions Court, is prima facie satisfied about the conviction of the applicant under Section 302 of IPC, and in absence of any exceptional case made out by the applicant, the present application does not deserve any further consideration. The application for suspension of sentence, therefore, is dismissed.” the order read.
1989 custodial death case
The case stems from the custodial death of one Prabhudas Vaishnani in Gujarat’s Jamnagar in 1989 when Bhatt was serving in the district as additional superintendent of police. According to the prosecution, Bhatt had detained more than a hundred persons during a communal riot in Jamnagar, Gujarat and one of the detainees, Prabhudas Vaishnani had died in hospital after he was released.
Sanjiv Bhatt is currently lodged in the Palanpur district jail and has been awarded life imprisonment sentence by the court in a custodial death case.
Last year in September, the sacked ex-IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt was taken into custody by the Gujarat CID over a 1998 case of planting drugs. Despite repeated attempts by the tainted officer’s lawyers and family, Bhatt was denied bail after the Palampur court took cognisance of his criminal past, behaviour and false statements. Afterwards, he had reportedly approached the high court for the same. The Gujarat government had then vehemently opposed Bhatt’s bail application.
The Palanpur Drug planting case pertains to an incident in 1998 when Sanjiv Bhatt was serving as the DCP of Banaskantha. He was then accused of trying framing a lawyer in a fake narcotics case.
The anti-Modi cop is also well known for his legal fight against the Gujarat government and especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi, who had served as the former chief minister of Gujarat, was accused by Bhatt of being complicit in the murder of Muslims during the 2002 Godhra case. However, the SIT set up by the apex court then had given Modi a clean chit.