Gujarat Court sends former IPS Officer Sanjiv Bhatt to prison in 28-years-old case

The case originally stemmed from the arrest of lawyer Sumersingh Rajpurohit by the Banaskantha police under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act) in 1996.

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A sessions court in Gujarat's Palanpur convicted former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a long-standing drug seizure case dating back to 1996. The court's verdict comes as the second conviction for Bhatt, the first being in 2019 for a custodial death case in Jamnagar. The court ordered 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2 lakhs.

The judgment was delivered by Additional District and Sessions Judge J N Thakkar, who found Bhatt guilty of falsely implicating a lawyer from Rajasthan in a drug seizure incident at a hotel in Palanpur, where Bhatt was serving as the Superintendent of Police of Banaskantha district at the time.

Expressing disappointment over the verdict, Bhatt's wife Shweta denounced it as a "miscarriage of justice." 

What is rootcause of the case?

The case originally stemmed from the arrest of lawyer Sumersingh Rajpurohit by the Banaskantha police under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act) in 1996. Subsequent inquiries revealed that Rajpurohit was allegedly framed by the police to settle a property dispute in Rajasthan.

CID arrested Sanjiv Bhatt in 2018

The former police inspector I B Vyas, who initially raised concerns about the case, had sought a thorough investigation, leading to Bhatt's arrest by the state CID in 2018. Despite Bhatt's attempts to transfer the trial and challenge the proceedings in the Supreme Court, the plea was dismissed, and he was fined for alleged bias against the trial court judge.

Amidst the ongoing legal battles, Bhatt faced another setback in 2019 when he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in a custodial death case dating back to 1990. Shweta Bhatt, maintaining her stance on the drug case, labeled it as 'fictitious' and vowed to elaborate further after the court pronounced the punishment.