Ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt moves Gujarat HC challenging denial of telephone facility in prison
The High Court has issued notice to the state government, asking it to file its reply by July 9, failing which the court will take appropriate action
Ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, lodged in Palanpur jail since September 5, 2018, has challenged in the Gujarat High Court the denial of telephone facility to him.
The High Court has issued notice to the state government, asking it to file its reply by July 9, failing which the court will take appropriate action.
In his petition, Sajiv Bhatt has challenged the government rule denying telephone facility to undertrial prisoners. Bhatt is facing trial in a 26-year-old case following a complaint by a Rajasthan-based lawyer that Bhatt, who was then the Superintendent of Police in Palanpur, had planted narcotics to frame him in a trumped up case.
Since Sanjiv Bhatt is facing trial in a case under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, the government modified the rules regarding prisoners undergoing trial in such a case to deny them telephone facility.
Bhatt was also denied permission to receive his family members as visitors. However, the state government, in its reply before the High Court, said prisoners were being allowed to meet visitors now that COVID-19 cases were declining. The government contended that Bhatt has availed of the facility of e-meeting, telephone communication with his family members and had even received visitors in the prison.
Contesting the government’s claims, Sanjiv Bhatt said that it should come out with a uniform policy for all undertrial prisoners.
The High Court then issued a notice to the state government to file its reply before July 9 failing which it would take appropriate action.