Bhatt faces criminal trial for torture

HC backs Porbandar court’s decision in a 1998 case against the embattled cop.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: January 4, 2012 4:56:52 am

In a setback to suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt,the Gujarat High Court has rejected his plea seeking quashing of a complaint in a 1998 custodial torture case and directed the Porbander district court to proceed with the criminal trial against the senior police officer.

Justice M R Shah recently rejected Bhatt’s application in the 13-year-old case when he was SP of Porbander district.

Bhatt had sought quashing of the criminal complaint filed against him.

The court also vacated the stay,granted by it in December 2010,on conducting criminal proceedings against Bhatt in the case.

The court has further directed the magistrate of the Porbander court to proceed further with the trial and conclude the same within 12 months. All those concerned with the case have been directed by the court to cooperate with the trial court for early disposal of the case.

“This court is of the opinion that this is not a fit case to exercise the powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to quash and set aside the impugned complaint and/or order passed by the learned magistrate directing to issue process against the applicant (Bhatt),” the HC stated in its order.

Bhatt,along with constable Vajubhai Chau,has been charged for the offence punishable under Sections 330 (causing hurt to extort confession),324 (causing hurt with dangerous weapon) read with Section 34 (action done by several persons with common intent) of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint against them by one Naran Jadav in 1998 for causing him physical and mental torture in police custody for extracting confession in a TADA and Arms Act case.

Bhatt shot to limelight after his allegations last year that CM Narendra Modi had asked top state officials to allow Hindus to “vent their anger” during the 2002 riots.

Months later,the DIG was suspended on a complaint filed by a constable,who accused Bhatt of forcing him to sign a false affidavit to bear out the police officer’s claim that he was present at Modi’s February 27,2002,meeting where the CM was alleged to have asked the officials to go easy on rioters.

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