Former Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was arrested by police on Wednesday in connection with a 1996 case in which a Rajasthan-based lawyer was allegedly framed in a narcotics case. He was picked up from his home at around 9.30 am for questioning before being placed under arrest.
DGP CID (crime) Ashish Bhatia told The Indian Express: “3-4 months back the Gujarat high court had asked the CID to investigate this case and we had formed a SIT which probed and found Sanjiv Bhatt had made out a false case against the lawyer. We have taken him for questioning. In all, we have 7 persons detained.”
The lawyer, Sumersingh Rajpurohit, had filed a case in 1996 against Bhatt, who was then serving as SP of Banaskantha district, and several others. The Gujarat High Court had recently ordered a special investigation team (SIT) of CID to probe the case, 22 years after Rajpurohit filed a complaint in Pali, Rajasthan.
Rajpurohit also named Justice Jain, a former sitting judge in the Gujarat High Court, and Bhatt’s subordinate officers. In his complaint, Rajpurohit alleged that he was abducted and implicated in a false NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) case to force his family to vacate a rented premises owned by Justice Jain’s sister in Pali. He was arrested after Banaskantha police reportedly found over one kilo of opium at a hotel in Palanpur, Gujarat.
Rajpurohit claimed he never occupied the hotel room and that he was in Pali at the time of the purported police raid. He also alleged that he was abducted and brought to Palanpur in Banaskantha and pressurized by Bhatt and his subordinate police officers to vacate the said rented premises by threatening him with arrest under the NDPS Act. Under pressure from police, Rajpurohit claimed, he had to vacate the property.