The Gujarat CID (crime) on Friday filed a chargesheet against former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in Palanpur court in connection with the alleged framing of a Rajasthan lawyer in fake narcotics case back in 1996. The CID will be submitting some additional relevant documents before the court on Saturday.
Sources said that the chargesheet has named Bhatt, then police inspector I B Vyas (retired as Deputy SP) and a constable Malabhai Desai. They said that Bhatt has been charged for conspiracy and planting narcotics with the help of his then subordinates. The accused have also been chargesheeted under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
Bhatt was arrested on September 5 following an order of the Gujarat High Court in June directing the CID to probe the case in which a lawyer Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, a resident of Pali district in Rajasthan, was arrested for keeping 1.15 kg opium in his hotel room in Palanpur of Banaskantha district where Bhatt was the superintendent of police.
Earlier last month, while opposing the bail application, the CID had alleged that evidence suggested that “Bhatt is the mastermind of the offence.” The investigators have recorded statements of several policemen who were posted at Palanpur back then, including the man who allegedly procured the opium, which was planted in the hotel room.
The CID probe is said to have found that the then police inspector I B Vyas had led a raid team at the hotel on April 30,1996 and found opium in the presence of some panch witnesses. However, the CID probe has revealed that “there was no raid as no panch witnesses was present at that time.”
In April this year, Justice J B Pardiwala of Gujarat High Court had directed the CID to probe while disposing of petitions moved in 1999 by former judge Ramanlal Rajmal Jain and I B Vyas. They had sought CBI probe into the case lodged at Palanpur and also a related case lodged with Pali police station in Rajasthan. The state government had reached the apex court against the probe conducted by the Rajasthan Police. The apex court had stayed the probe where the matter remains pending.
In 1996, 1.15 kg narcotics drug was recovered from a room of Lajwanti City hotel in Palanpur following an information received by the district control room through an anonymous caller. The local police arrested an advocate Sumer Singh Rajpurohit from the hotel with the possession of narcotics and booked him.
Later on, it was found that Rajpurohit was abducted from his home in neighbouring district Pali and the drugs was planted by the Palanpur police. The police did this allegedly for vacating a property occupied by Rajpurohit. This property belonged to a relative of former judge Jain who was then serving in High Court.
Rajpurohit was forced to execute a written document for vacating the property while he was in police custody at Palanpur. Probe established that Rajpurohit was abducted from his home at midnight and he was booked in a fake narcotics case by the Gujarat Police. However, the Palanpur police never probed this case of narcotics. Justice Pardiwala has written in his order, “The sequence of events are really shocking. More shocking is the fact that though the offence registered as C.R. No.216/96 at Palanpur is crucial for investigation, no investigation, whatsoever, has taken place.”
The High Court order states that “it would be travesty of justice if an independent, detailed and thorough investigation” is not carried out to find out who brought or planted the narcotics drugs and booked Rajpurohit. The order says that it is sad that no investigation has been done so far in Palanpur case.