1996 Drug ‘planting’ case: Sanjiv Bhatt’s bail plea adjourned till November 12https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sanjiv-bhatt-drug-planting-case-5420753/

1996 Drug ‘planting’ case: Sanjiv Bhatt’s bail plea adjourned till November 12

The state CID-crime had arrested Bhatt from his house in Ahmedabad on September 5 in connection with an alleged drug planting case dating back to 1996.

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Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt.

A Palanpur court in Banaskantha district adjourned the hearing on the bail application of former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to November 12, after the Diwali vacation.

The state CID-crime had arrested Bhatt from his house in Ahmedabad on September 5 in connection with an alleged drug planting case dating back to 1996. The arrest was made after the Gujarat High Court in June directed the CID to probe the case in which Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, a Rajasthan-based lawyer, was booked for allegedly keeping 1.15 kg opium at a Palanpur hotel room in 1996. Bhatt was then SP of Banaskantha.

Calling the investigation an “abuse of law”, Bhatt moved a bail application on several grounds, including the delay in the investigation into the case. He said that he has already been interrogated in the case and has “deep roots in society with movable and immovable property. Thus, is not likely to abscond or tamper with evidence and/or jump the bail, there is no legal evidence against him and he has not criminal antecedents”.

Calling Bhatt the “mastermind” of the offence, the CID in its reply claimed that an investigation had revealed that Rajpurohit was framed at the behest of Bhatt.

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The CID also refuted the version that the then police inspector I B Vyas had raided the hotel on April 30, 1996 and found opium in the presence of panch witnesses. The CID stated that their probe found that “there was no raid as no panch witnesses was present at that time”.

The CID-Crime affidavit revealed that Bhatt had allegedly informed some police personnel a day in advance about the narcotics consignment. It claims that Rajpurohit neither booked any room nor he stayed in that hotel.

On October 23, Rajpurohit also filed an affidavit in the Palanpur court opposing Bhatt’s bail application. In the affidavit, Rajpurohit alleged that “the State Government had given patronage and political support to Sanjiv Bhatt who is known for using his political connections since many decades”.

Meanwhile, Bhatt’s wife Sweta has alleged that “the state government is delaying the hearing on one or the other pretext to keep him behind the bars”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Sweta said, “On Thursday, the Palanpur court judge adjourned the hearing saying that he was going on leave from October 26 to November 4 and after that there will be Diwali vacation so he kept the hearing on November 12.”

Alleging that “everyone is silent and not doing anything to support her husband”, she also accused the state government of harassing them. She said that days after some portion of her house was removed by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) for “being built illegally”, she had received a Rs 2.25 lakh-bill in lieu of the expense which the AMC bore for removing the illegal construction.