Suspended IPS officer declines to strike a compromise with the government

The trial courts on Tuesday reserved orders on both the revision petition for police remand of the arrested Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, and his application for bail.

While principal district judge G.N. Patel hearing the case for his police remand reserved his order till October 7, Additional Sessions judge V.K. Vyas will decide on Wednesday whether the bail application could be heard pending the remand application.

The State government on Monday filed a revision petition in the sessions court challenging the Ahmedabad rural court's order denying the police seven days' remand they demanded to facilitate further investigation. As the hearing on the petition began on Tuesday, the suspended IPS officer's advocate, I.H. Sayed, questioned its maintainability on the ground that once the remand application was rejected by the magisterial court, the petition could not be filed in another court equivalent in status.

After the principal district judge reserved his order to decide the maintainability of the revision petition, State government pleader S.V. Raju objected to the sessions court hearing the plea for his bail application, pointing out that as per convention the bail application could be heard only after the remand petition was disposed of. Mr. Sayed, however, objected to the plea saying it was the government's mistake to file the revision petition in an equivalent court and the accused could not be made to suffer by delaying his bail application.

Mr. Sayed also quoted the Supreme Court orders to claim that the revision petition for remand was not maintainable under section 397(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, since granting or rejecting of remand or bail was an interlocutory order and there could be no revision of it.

During the hearing on the revision petition for remand, Mr. Bhatt declined to strike a compromise with the government for an early bail and rejected the court's offer that he could be granted bail instantaneously if he agreed to three-hour remand and come back during which he should “show” his lockers to the police.

Mr. Bhatt, however, said he was not ready to compromise with the “touts” and would “tolerate” whatever the wrong the government wanted to do. He said he was prepared to wait behind the bars as long as required but would not compromise on principles.

The court's suggestion to allow the police to search his lockers came under fire from the social and human rights activists who called it “shocking and ludicrous.”