Gujarat High Court strongly objected to a paragraph in the former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s application to suspend his 29-years-old custodial death case on Tuesday. A portion of the application questioned the fairness of the judgement by the lower court and the sessions court judge who presided over the trail.
Public prosecutor Mitesh Amin opposed Bhatt’s plea and highlighted Bhatt’s conduct during the trial. Amin focused on a paragraph in his application, he emphasised that Bhatt’s application mentioned it as a ‘vitiated trial’ and said that sessions judge was ‘predetermined’ in the trial.
“You cannot scandalise the court like this. I’m not saying this but there are SC judgments that say so. There can’t be a personal attack on the judge,” said Justice Bela Trivedi of the bench.
Bhatt’s lawyer senior counsel BB Naik tried to explain but Justice Trivedi said that they intend to take action unless he tendered an unconditional apology.
A Jamnagar sessions court convicted Bhatt and six other policemen in a custodial death case of 1990. Bhatt was the additional superintendent of Police of the Jamnagar district and other policemen arrested 133 people from Jamjodhpur town who were allegedly involved in rioting during the nationwide Bandh called by the BJP and VHP.
Prabhudas and his youngest brother Rameshchandra were among the arrested and were booked under Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. Bhatt and then Police constable Pravinsinh Zala were sentenced to life imprisonment. Both of them moved to Gujarat High Court to challenge the decision by the sessions court and sought suspension of their sentence.
“One of the accused misused anticipatory bail granted to him in another case in 1991. He has a series of complaints against him. In 1996, he was also engaged in a case of planting narcotics. One of his constables, KD Panth, was coerced by this accused to make an affidavit of his choice where after Panth filed an FIR. There is also a complaint of hacking the e-mail of a law officer. His conduct was also condemned by the Supreme Court for deliberate attempt to mislead the court…” argued public prosecutor while opposing the plea without mentioning Sanjiv Bhatt’s name.