Supreme Court quashes Sanjiv Bhatt’s plea, says attempt to influence court through politics and activism

The court rejected sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s plea to investigate BJP president Amit Shah’s role for allegedly trying to scuttle probe into cases of encounter killings.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: October 14, 2015 8:55 am
Ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt Ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt

In a first, the Supreme Court said today that attempts were made through “politics and activism” to influence the proceedings on Gujarat riots in the top court. The court rejected sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s plea to investigate BJP president Amit Shah’s role for allegedly trying to scuttle probe into cases of encounter killings.

Underlining that Bhatt “was not acting bonafide and was catering to the interest elsewhere”, a bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra dismissed Bhatt’s petition for constituting a special investigation team (SIT) and making Shah and others parties to his petition.

Besides, the bench also lifted a stay on his trial in two cases and asked him to face prosecution. “…petitioner (Bhatt) was in active touch with leaders of rival political party, NGOs, their lawyers tried to play media card, was being tutored by NGOs.

Share This Article
Share
Related Article

He had probably forgotten that he was a senior IPS officer. In case he was fairly stating a fact after nine years, he ought not to have entered into the aforesaid exercise and kept away from all politics and activism of creating pressure, even upon 3-judge bench of this court, amicus and many others,” the bench said.

Bhatt had moved the apex court in 2011, alleging he was being targeted by the Gujarat government for disclosing certain facts about the alleged role and complicity of then chief minister Narendra Modi, Shah and others in the 2002 post-Godhra riots. He claimed he was present in a meeting on February 27, 2002 when Modi allegedly said Hindus should be allowed to vent their anger.

To fix him, he alleged, two FIRs were lodged against him. In the first FIR, a policeman accused Bhatt of coercing him to submit a false affidavit before a commission inquiring into the riot. The second FIR was lodged by Tushar Mehta, then Gujarat additional advocate general and now an additional solicitor general, alleging Bhatt hacked his email account.

Initially, Bhatt sought a CBI probe into his cases for a fair investigation but he later asked for a SIT, contending CBI could be under political pressure now that the BJP was in power. He also urged the bench to take note of Mehta’s emails and order a broad-based investigation.

But the bench also looked into Bhatt’s emails put on record by the Gujarat government and said that they were “self-explanatory” that “he has not come to the court with clean hands” and his conduct was neither desirable nor above board.

“He had exchanged e-mails with rival political party leaders and was being tutored by the lawyer of NGO and its activist. Ghost questions and answers were also prepared as to what he was required to speak before Justice Nanavati Commission. He has used the media card, has even sent the e-mails to influence the judicial proceedings of a 3-judge bench of this court and has tried to influence the amicus curiae,” the bench said.

It cited certain emails that Bhatt had exchanged with a woman activist of a Gujarat-based NGO, an activist of Narmada Bachao Andolan, leaders of rival political party and journalists, seeking “to exert pressure by the groups and opinion-makers in Delhi” on the top court.

The court questioned what prevented Bhatt from approaching it earlier if he was really present at the February 2002 meeting. It noted Bhatt filed a petition in this regard only in 2011 and did not state this fact even when he recorded his statement before the Commission in 2009.

“When he made such sensational disclosures after nine years, what prevented him from not disclosing the e-mails and keeping quiet is inexplicable conduct. In the statement before Justice Nanavati Commission also, he has failed to state about the e-mails. When he has sent the e-mails to the effect that his potential was not fully exploited by rival political party, what prevented him from stating about the e-mails before the Commission also is not understandable. The overall conduct of the petitioner does not inspire confidence,” it said.

Perusing the emails of Mehta, the court held held he has been unnecessarily dragged into this controversy by Bhatt and the accusations of his having a criminal nexus with the lawyers of Shah, who was an accused in encounter killing cases, was unfounded.

About Mehta seeking suggestions from Gurumurthy Swaminathan, co-convener of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, for drafting certain affidavits, the bench held this would not undermine the administration of justice in any way and is not indicative of criminal conspiracy.

It said there is no requirement of setting up a SIT or order a CBI probe into cases registered against Bhatt and that he must face prosecution like other citizens.

Incidentally, since 2003, the top court has been proactively adjudging issues concerning proper investigation and fair trial in the riot cases, based on petitions filed by the National Human Rights Commission, social activists such as Teesta Setalvad and some NGOs.

Not only it appointed lawyers like Harish Salve, Prashant Bhushan and Raju Ramachandran as amicus curiae in the case to make sure the probe is on the right track but the court also appointed a special investigation team (SIT) in 2008 to work independently under the mandate of the apex court.

In the last 12 years, the Supreme Court has issued slew of orders, including handing over probe to CBI in high-profile cases, transferring key cases to outside Gujarat, re-investigation into cases previously closed, re-trials, protection of witnesses etc. The SIT had in 2012 given a clean chit to Modi in the riots cases, saying it found no evidence against him.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now

First Published on: October 14, 2015 4:10 am
  1. P
    paamela
    Oct 15, 2016 at 1:40 am
    Sanjiv Bhat is a Sonia poodle and everything he does is at her behest. It is good the SC judges exposed him. There are many enemies of India who are funded by our neighbours with a single agenda to defame BJP leaders and bring down the government.
    Reply
    1. A
      American Muse
      Oct 14, 2015 at 10:57 am
      The court is in BJP's pocket.
      Reply
      1. B
        BiasedJustice
        Oct 13, 2015 at 11:11 am
        Unbelievable. Does SC stand for SUPREME COURT ?
        Reply
        1. C
          Chander Pal
          Oct 13, 2015 at 2:57 pm
          He is just a face, handlers could not succeed earlier. Now they are trying a different route. They want Modi
          Reply
          1. D
            Dilip
            Oct 14, 2015 at 9:00 am
            QED - proves Modi's case of conspiracy. This along with the fact that UPA1 government had infact asked for ban on Modi US visa (recent news article, indicating US government source), proves beyond reasonable the travesty of justice done to Modi.
            Reply
            1. B
              Bagi
              Oct 14, 2015 at 7:56 am
              THIEF Justice Dutta is a known BJP sympathizer! It is BJP that is influencing the SUPREME CORRUPT(SC) of India favoring THE BUTCHER MODI. Instead of validating the charges against BUTCHER Modi, the comments by Supreme CORRUPT is unwarranted and condemnable. All for a post retirement plum post. No dearth of shamelessness.
              Reply
              1. A
                Anand Drivedi
                Oct 13, 2015 at 5:40 pm
                Who started bus service from stan? Answer: BJP (Vajpayee sarkar) Who started bus service from Bangladesh? Answer: BJP (Modi sarkar) How do terrorists enter India? Answer: by bus from stan and Bangladesh. So who supports terrorism? Answer: BJP BJP-RSS-VHP-Bajrang Dal are all terrorist organizations like Taliban and Al Qaeda. BJP is turning India into another stan. Foreign investors should not invest in India. Investments are not safe. Every day there is communal violence. Stock market is down. Commodity prices are going up. Violence is everywhere and every day by RSS-VHP-BJP-Bajrang Dal terrorists. Mega scams by BJP: Vyapam, Lalitgate, Chavan, Raje, Sushma, Bellary Reddy, di, Nitin Gadkari, Pankaja Munde, Oil Ministry and Defence Ministry espionage by Reliance and Essar, etc. At least Shiv Sena fights for the rights of all Maharashtrians irrespective of religion and social status. Plus they don't tell us what to eat and drink like RSS-BJP thugs.
                Reply
                1. K
                  Kris
                  Oct 14, 2015 at 2:54 pm
                  Well said. The Congress party had applied everything in their possession to tie down Modi and Amit Shah with a slew of false cases filed against them and some media (everyone knows who they are) worked for them. People like Sanjiv Bhatt is a criminal in uniform and he must now be questioned as to who was behind him and those parties responsible for failing fake cases should be severely punished. Never in the history should this type of incident ever happen. Congress did a big favor to him by allowing his wife to contest elections against Modi. If Sanjiv Bhatt is questioned thoroughly by applying all methods he will sing like a parrot as to who were all behind him and also we will come know to about some of the so called NGOs who have been promoted by Congress to damage our national interest. We look forward to reading more interesting news in the days ahead.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Annu
                    Oct 14, 2015 at 12:31 pm
                    I see increasing signs of judges in Supreme Court being influenced by Hindutva. Oh my mother land, are you heading for self-destruction? The courts were the common man's last refuge and now that is also being infiltrated by RSS fascists
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Annu
                      Oct 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm
                      Raje, I am just trying to understand all sides of the coin. Can it be this way? He was one lone man fighting against an all powerful government. And the government is using its entire machinery to bring him down. What would you do if you were in his place? Won't you get advise from people who has experience with an antagonistic government?
                      Reply
                      1. B
                        Barb Dewyre
                        Oct 13, 2015 at 2:40 pm
                        Jiske laathi, uskee bhains.
                        Reply
                        1. Y
                          yogesh
                          Oct 14, 2015 at 7:50 am
                          IE "The journalism of HIJDAS(NAPUNSAKS)" is now dead and burried 20 feet below. with the Death of RAM NATH GOYNKA it was alrady loosing its shine. whem takla gupta was editor it was put on death bed today it is burred 20 feet below earth.
                          Reply
                          1. P
                            Praveen Panchhi
                            Oct 14, 2015 at 2:08 pm
                            He was grudge against Modi because he was charged in corruption case before riot take place.
                            Reply
                            1. P
                              Peter
                              Oct 13, 2015 at 12:39 pm
                              The fact remains that Modiji masterminded the Gujarat 2002 riots. Amit Shah was arrested on 25 July 2010 in connection with the Sohrabuddin case. He was charged with the murder, extortion and kidnapping among other charges. Many leaders in the Gujarat government distanced themselves from him. His fellow ministers criticized him as an autocratic person, who did not have good relations with his colleagues. When Shah applied for bail, the CBI raised concerns that he would use his political power to prevent justice from taking its course.[7] The Gujarat High Court granted him bail three months after his arrest, on Friday, 29 October 2010. However, the next day, when the courts were closed, Justice Aftab Alam took a peion at his residence to bar him from entering Gujarat. Shah was thus forcibly exiled from the state from 2010 to 2012. He and his wife moved to a room in Gujarat Bhavan, Delhi. A person of this background is the president of BJP, the puppet of RSS
                              Reply
                              1. D
                                david
                                Oct 13, 2015 at 11:42 am
                                Looks most Kashmiris are official agents of corrupt congress.
                                Reply
                                1. D
                                  disgusted
                                  Oct 14, 2015 at 7:02 am
                                  A hard slap by SC on presutes and their sicular masters.
                                  Reply
                                  1. D
                                    Dinesh
                                    Oct 14, 2015 at 12:36 pm
                                    Completely agree. These looters can not understand selfless service to the country.
                                    Reply
                                    1. D
                                      Dinesh
                                      Oct 14, 2015 at 12:41 pm
                                      Very judicious decision of SC, after getting to the bottom of the issue. We have hope of justice till SC is having such deep insight. Now the world will understand how the honest and hard working leaders were defamed by previous GOI, just for the benefit of dynasty. See the network of Police officer, NGO, media and political party.
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        Anil pradhan
                                        Oct 14, 2015 at 6:46 am
                                        Now Bhatt will demand Iphone from madam Soniya to file another case against Modi,Blackberry was not enough
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          R.S.Sharma
                                          Oct 14, 2015 at 7:43 am
                                          In 2002 the then Prime Minister of BJP party himself condemned the then CM of Gujarat, Modiji for the riots. What additional proof is required.
                                          Reply
                                          1. F
                                            Foo
                                            Oct 13, 2015 at 11:58 am
                                            Wonder who is funding this guy
                                            Reply
                                            1. Load More Comments