Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt gets life term in 1990 custodial death case

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Ahmedabad, June 20: Sanjiv Bhatt, the ex-IPS officer from Gujarat, was on Thursday sentenced to jail for life by Jamnagar court in police custody death case. Jamnagar’s sessions judge DN Vyas has convicted and sentenced Bhatt but is yet to pronounce the quantum of sentence for six other policemen who were also convicted in this case, according to news agency ANI.
“After the complete trial in 1990 Jam Jodhpur custodial death case, Jamnagar Sessions Court today booked accused Sanjeev Bhatt and Pravinsinh Jhala under section 302 while the others are booked for torturing,” public prosecutor Tushar Gokani told media after the hearing, according to ANI.
Sanjiv Bhatt was arrested last year in connection with the arrest of a man for allegedly possessing drugs 22 years ago.
The custody death case dates back to 1990 when Bhatt was Jamnagar district’s newly-appointed additional superintendent of police.
The police had detained many BJP workers protesting against the arrest of LK Advani after his Rath Yatra was stopped due to communal violence. One of those arrested, Prabhudas Vaishnani, died in a hospital after his release.
The policemen had opposed criminal proceedings against them on the ground that they were doing their official duty and the man who died was not subjected to custodial torture as alleged.
Bhatt, who was a1988 batch officer of Gujarat cadre, was suspended by the Gujarat government after he took on Narendra Modi, accusing him of asking the police to go slow on Hindus during the 2002 riots in which 1,200 people were killed.
The police officer, however, could not back up his claim and was suspended soon after. In 2015, the government sacked the police officer for “unauthorized absence” from service
The BJP had rebutted him, insisting that the Sanjiv Bhatt was working on the agenda of rival political parties. His wife has contested the assembly election in 2012 against Narendra Modi on a Congress ticket.
The custody death case went for three decades after which the Supreme Court ordered that the judgment should be given before June 20 this year by the Jamnagar Sessions Court. (Agencies)