Asked to clarify on ‘unauthorised leave' as he stayed on in Ahmedabad

The controversial Gujarat cadre IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, in the eye of a storm over his alleged “exposures” relating to Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was served with a charge sheet on Sunday.

The charge sheet — which contained issues regarding his staying in Ahmedabad on “unauthorised leave” and “failure” to report to his place of present posting as the principal of the police training college in Junagadh — was served on him in the afternoon even as he was due to appear on Monday before an inquiry officer to clarify the same issues.

Mr. Bhatt, who filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court this April alleging that Mr. Modi had “directed” the top police officers on the eve of the 2002 communal riots to go soft on the Hindu rioters, had since then stayed on in Ahmedabad, citing “judicial reasons” as well as the ill-health of his mother. He had told the government that as he was required to appear before the G.T.-Nanavati-Akshay-Mehta judicial inquiry commission, the court-appointed Special Investigation Team, and the High Court frequently, it would be necessary for him to stay on in Ahmedabad till the judicial process was over.

Mr. Bhatt's leave, however, was not sanctioned and he had been directed to report back to Junagadh immediately. On Thursday, a day after he wrote an “open letter” to the Chief Minister, denouncing his “Sadbhavana Mission,” Mr. Bhatt was officially told to present himself before the inquiry officer at 11 a.m. on Monday, to reply to the charges of “misconduct”. On the same day, the former chief of the State Intelligence Bureau, the retired Additional Director-General of police, R.B. Shreekumar — to whom Mr. Bhatt was the deputy during the 2002 communal riots — filed yet another petition before the Nanavati-Mehta commission, reportedly corroborating what Mr. Bhatt had told the apex court, the commission and the SIT about Mr. Modi's conduct during the riots.

Noted danseuse and social activist Mallika Sarabhai on Sunday spoke about Mr Modi's plot “through Mr. Shreekumar and Mr. Bhatt” to subvert her PIL petition before the Supreme Court on the 2002 riots.