The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday rejected a petition filed by a retired police officer, an accused in Jamnagar custodial death case, and slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on him for “abusing the law and misleading the court” while not disclosing the true facts of the case in the petition. Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt is also one of the seven accused involved in the case.
The single-bench of Justice Abhilasha Kumari dictated the order in an open court lambasting the petitioner Shailesh Pandya for hiding certain facts of the case.
The case concerns the death of one Prabhudas Vaishani who was allegedly killed in police custody in 1990.
Pandya had moved a petition challenging a sessions court’s order in Jamnagar which rejected three applications moved by four co-accused who had sought documents and statements recorded by B B Desai Commission which probed the case. The sessions court had rejected their applications.
Appearing for the state government, additional advocate general P K Jani and government pleader Mitesh Amin pointed out that Pandya had no locus in the case as he had not sought the documents from the sessions court and therefore, he can’t challenge the sessions court’s order.
While pronouncing the order, Justice Kumari said that a day after she kept the matter for dictating the order, Pandya’s lawyer I H Syed moved an application on Wednesday for making the four accused party in the petition. She said that this was nothing but an abuse of law. She noted, “It was made to fill up a lacuna…the court can’t appreciate such tricks. It pains that such tactics are now being adopted in order to achieve to end a personal goal.”
Justice Kumari refused to allow the petitioner to withdraw the petition and rejected it without going into the merit of the case. She asked Syed why a cost not be imposed on the petitioner. Syed requested against imposing the penalty saying he argued the case at the instance of petitioner. The Justice, in the order, noted that the cost be imposed.