Gujarat High Court orders CID-Crime to probe 1996 Palanpur ‘drug haul’ case

In 1996, 1.5 kg of narcotics was recovered from a room of Lajwanti City Hotel in Palanpur and police arrested a lawyer, Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, claiming that he was in the possession of narcotics.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: June 14, 2018 12:29:51 am
Gujarat High Court orders CID-Crime to probe 1996 Palanpur ‘drug haul’ case It would be a 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 High Court order stated.(File)

The Gujarat High Court has directed the state CID-Crime to investigate the FIR lodged at Palanpur in Banaskantha in 1996 in which a lawyer from Rajasthan was booked for allegedly carrying 1.5 kg of narcotics. The case also involves a former judge of the Gujarat High Court, Ramanlal Rajmal Jain, and then Superintendent of Police Sanjiv Bhatt.

On the petitions filed by the former judge and then police inspector I B Vyas, seeking CBI investigation into the narcotics case as well as the one probed by Rajasthan Police, Justice J B Pardiwala ordered that the probe into the narcotics case should be conducted by the state CID-Crime by appointing an SIT led by an officer of DIG rank. He also ordered that the probe should be completed in three months. The court, however, said that it won’t interfere in the probe conducted by Rajasthan Police since the matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court.

The Gujarat government has opposed the Rajasthan Police probe in the Supreme Court.

In 1996, 1.5 kg of narcotics was recovered from a room of Lajwanti City Hotel in Palanpur and police arrested a lawyer, Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, claiming that he was in the possession of narcotics.

Later on, it was found that Rajpurohit was abducted from his home in Pali, in neighbouring Rajasthan, and the drugs were allegedly planted by Palanpur police. The police allegedly did so for vacating the property occupied by Rajpurohit, which belonged to a relative of Jain, who was then a judge in the Gujarat High Court. Rajpurohit was allegedly forced to vacate the property while he was in police custody at Palanpur. It is alleged that then SP Bhatt, who was sacked from service in 2015, played a key role in the case.

“It was shockingly mentioned that if the said advocate vacates the property, the Palanpur police would release him from jail in the said narcotics case. In fact, within only three days of Sumer Singh Rajpurohit remaining in police custody, the property was vacated by his brother, and on vacating the property, the Palanpur police filed a report under Section 169 CrPC saying that the person occupying the room at Lajwanti City Hotel where 1.5 kg narcotics was found was not Rajpurohit and that he may be released,” the High Court’s order stated.

Rajasthan Police said that Rajpurohit was abducted from his home and was booked in a fake narcotics case by Gujarat Police. However, the Palanpur police never probed the narcotics case.

It would be a 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 High Court order stated.

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