Published On: Tue, Aug 18th, 2015

Amitabh Thakur defends suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt

Ahmedabad: Amitabh Thakur, the suspended IPS officer of the Uttar Pradesh-cadre, on Tuesday said that Gujarat government’s notice to another IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt over a sex video was an invasion of privacy.

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt

“In this case, sadly it seems the privacy of Bhatt has been pierced into and publicly divulged which does not seem appropriate, legally and ethically,” Thakur said in a letter addressed to Gujarat home secretary P K Taneja.

“Take strict legal and administrative action against every person who has infringed the right to privacy owned by Sanjiv Bhatt and has unnecessarily brought a private matter into public realm, bringing Bhatt, his family members and the concerned woman, unnecessarily and improperly in precarious position,” the letter added.

The Gujarat government on August 14 issued a show-cause notice to Bhatt — a suspended IPS officer from Gujarat cadre — over a video CD which purportedly shows him with a woman, demanding explanation for such an extra-marital relationship. Bhatt said in his reply that the person in the video wasn’t him. Thakur said that even if Bhatt were in the video, it could not be held as a misconduct or an act unbecoming of an IPS officer as long as it was private and consensual. Only his family had the right to object.

“Every act which does not seem appropriate at the personal level is not a misconduct for government servant,” said Thakur.

Both Thakur and Bhatt have crossed swords with the ruling establishment of the respective states where they worked. Bhatt took on the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi over the handling of 2002 riots, while Thakur has accused SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav of trying to intimidate him.

“All that Rule 20 (of All India Services Conduct Rules, 1968, under which the notice was issued) prohibits is public drinking, heavy use of drugs, being intoxicated in public….what a person does as regards having physical relationship with another person is definitely his personal affair, as long as it does not flout the law of the land,” Thakur said.

The letter quoted several decisions of Calcutta and Allahabad High Courts stating that an IPS officer’s private conduct cannot be made a ground for action. The letter also questioned how the video became public and reached the government.

“An IPS officer having consensual private physical relationship with a person does not affect his public functioning nor incapacitate him as an IPS officer. In fact the two are completely disjoint (sic) to each other,” said Thakur.

Read Also: Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt gets notice over video, denies charge

PTI

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