Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bailable warrant against Bhatt in custodial death case

Gujarat EDN DNA 02MAY2012

A court in Jamkhambhalia, on Tuesday, issued a bailable warrant against suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for not being present during the hearing of a 20-year-old case of alleged police torture. The court also asked Bhatt to remain present before it on May 10. 

"Bhatt had been skipping the last few hearings of the case for one reason or another. Today, his lawyer pleaded, without giving satisfactory grounds, that Bhatt be exempted from having to remain present in court. After this, the court issued a bailable warrant against the IPS officer," said Vimal Chotai, government pleader in the case, on Tueday. 

The court is currently hearing the discharge petition filed by Bhatt and other policemen who are accused in the case. The matter concerns the death of one Prabhudas Vaishani who died a few days after he was released from police custody. Bhatt was Jamnagar assistant superintendent of police at the time. 

After Prabhudas's death, his brother, Amrutlal, had lodged a complaint against Bhatt and five other policemen under Section 302, 323, etc. Prodded by the hue and cry over the incident, the then Chimanbhai Patel government in the state had transferred the case to the state CID (crime) for investigation. The government had also ordered a departmental enquiry against Bhatt and the other policemen.