The Gujarat High Court Tuesday sent former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to police custody till September 21 in a 1996 ‘drug planting’ case.
Last week, a court at Palanpur in Gujarat had rejected the police’s plea seeking Bhatt’s remand.
Justice R P Dholaria sent Bhatt along with co-accused and retired police inspector, I B Vyas, to the custody of CID (crime), which is probing the case, for 10 days as against the 15 days custody sought by the government.
The court maintained that the custodial interrogation of the two accused is required as there appears a deep-rooted conspiracy behind the case.
The police had told the high court on Monday that they need the custody of the sacked IPS officer to find the source of the drugs, which his junior officers allegedly planted to frame a man.
The police had moved the high court after a magistrate’s court at Palanpur in Banaskantha district rejected the application of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID-Crime), seeking custody of Bhatt and Vyas last week.
In June, the high court had ordered the CID to investigate the case and file a report in three months.
It is alleged that the Banaskantha police planted 1 kg opium in a hotel room to frame Sumersingh Rajpurohit, a lawyer from Pali in Rajasthan, in 1996.
The state government had told the court that Bhatt and Vyas were required to be interrogated to find the source of opium that was allegedly planted and at whose behest.
Bhatt’s lawyer I H Syed had opposed the demand of his custody, saying all the issues were investigated when the case was registered in Rajasthan against Bhatt, and no one can be subjected to investigation twice for the same incident.
Bhatt, who has levelled several allegations against the then Narendra Modi-led government in Gujarat with regard to the 2002 riots, was Superintendent of Police in Banaskantha district in 1996.
As per his submission, the Rajasthan police had also filed a chargesheet in the drug planting case, and the matter was stayed by the Supreme Court on May 1, 2000.
The Banaskantha police arrested Sumersingh Rajpurohit in 1996, claiming that drugs were found in his hotel room.
But a probe by the Rajasthan police revealed that he was allegedly falsely implicated to compel him to transfer a disputed property in Pali in someone else’s name.
Bhatt was sacked by the Union Home Ministry in August 2015 for “unauthorised absence” from service.