The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent a proposal to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to take “strict disciplinary action” against Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who took on the Gujarat government when Narendra Modi was CM. Once the UPSC takes a decision, the file will be sent to the Prime Minister’s Office, which will give the final go-ahead.
Sources said Bhatt’s name was forwarded to the UPSC after the ministry was convinced of his involvement in anti-government acts.
“We have forwarded the proposal to initiate strict disciplinary action against the IPS officer and one of the options is dismissal of service. The UPSC had returned the file to us seeking some clarifications. We have replied and answered their queries,” said a senior home ministry official on condition of anonymity.
The 1988 batch IPS officer has been under suspension since 2011. A DIG rank officer at the time of his suspension, Bhatt’s last posting was as principal, Police Training College, in Junagadh.
“The ball is in UPSC’s court now. They can either go for a dismissal or can reduce his rank. From our side, we have asked for strictest disciplinary action,” said the official.
In 2013, the Gujarat government had written to the MHA seeking Bhatt’s dismissal. The UPA government, which was then in power at the Centre, had accepted the state government’s recommendation and was examining all aspects of the case. “Once all the aspects were examined, we decided to pursue his case with the UPSC, as is the norm. The file will be forwarded to the PMO as per the laid down procedure,” said the official.
Bhatt was arrested in 2011 by the Gujarat Police after a constable registered an FIR claiming that the IPS officer forced him to file an affidavit on the 2002 riots. He was later released on bail.
The constable had alleged that Bhatt was present during a meeting in February 2002 called by Modi. Bhatt had alleged that Modi asked officials at the meeting to go easy on the rioters.