CID tells High Cout it needs ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s custody in drugs case

Ahmedabad: Police told the Gujarat High Court Monday that they need the custody of sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to find the source of the drugs which his junior officers allegedly planted to frame up a man in a 1996 case.

Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt

The police moved the high court after a magistrate’s court at Palanpur in Banaskantha district rejected the application of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID-Crime), seeking custody of Bhatt and retired police inspector I B Vyas last week.

Justice R P Dholaria of the high court adjourned the hearing to Tuesday.

In June, the high court had ordered the CID to investigate the case and file a report in three months.

It is alleged that the police planted 1 kg of opium in a hotel room to frame Sumersingh Rajpurohit, a lawyer from Pali in Rajasthan, in 1996.

Public prosecutor Mitesh Amin told the high court Monday that the CID needs to interrogate Bhatt to find out from where the opium was sourced and at whose behest it was planted.

Bhatt’s lawyer I H Syed opposed the demand of custody, saying all these issues were investigated when the case was registered in Rajasthan against Bhatt, and no one can be subjected to investigation twice for the same incident.

Bhatt, who has levelled several allegations against the then Narendra Modi-led government in Gujarat with regard to the 2002 riots, was Superintendent of Police in Banaskantha district in 1996.

As per his submission, the Rajasthan Police had also filed a charge sheet in the drug planting case, and the matter was stayed by the Supreme Court on May 1, 2000.

The Banaskantha police arrested Sumersingh Rajpurohit in 1996, claiming that drugs were found in his hotel room.

But a probe by the Rajasthan police revealed that he was allegedly falsely implicated to compel him to transfer a disputed property in Pali in someone else’s name.

Bhatt was sacked by the Union Home Ministry in August 2015 for “unauthorised absence” from service.