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Former Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt arrested in 22-year-old narcotics case

File photo of former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt  

The Gujarat police on Wednesday arrested dismissed IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in connection with a 1996 narcotics case in which Rajasthan-based lawyer Sumer Singh Rajpurohit was allegedly framed by the Banaskantha police. Mr. Bhatt was Superintendent of Police (SP) in the North Gujarat district adjoining Rajasthan.

In June, the Gujarat High Court directed the CID (Crime) to probe the two decades-old case in which the Banaskantha police allegedly implicated the lawyer at the behest of the then sitting judge of Gujarat High Court, Justice Ramanlal Jain.

“The High Court directed us to probe the case. So we have arrested Mr. Sanjiv Bhatt after interrogation,” said chief of CID Ashish Bhatia.

Besides Mr. Bhatt, several other policemen were also detained for interrogation by the agency.

Justice J.B. Pardiwala of the High Court directed the CID to investigate the FIR lodged in Banaskantha against the lawyer for allegedly carrying 1.5 kg of narcotics.

According to the case details, the contraband was recovered from a room of Lajwanti City Hotel in Palanpur and police arrested Mr. Rajpurohit for possession.

However, it emerged subsequently that Mr. Rajpurohit was abducted from his home in Pali, Rajasthan, and the narcotics planted by the Banaskantha police in his room.

Mr. Rajpurohit had accused the Gujarat police of abduction and implicating him in a false NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) case.

As per the allegations, the police framed him to get a piece of disputed property occupied by him vacated because it allegedly belonged to a relative of the High Court Judge.

Justice Pardiwala wrote in the judgement, “It was shockingly mentioned that if the said advocate vacates the property, the Palanpur police would release him from jail in the said narcotics case. In fact, within only three days of Sumer Singh Rajpurohit remaining in police custody, the property was vacated by his brother, and on vacating the property, the Palanpur police filed a report under Section 169 Cr.PC saying that the person occupying the room at Lajwanti City Hotel where 1.5 kg narcotics was found was not Rajpurohit and that he may be released.”

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 2:56:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/22-year-old-narcotics-case-haunts-former-gujarat-ips-officer-sanjiv-bhatt/article24870247.ece

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