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Court rejects Bhatt's plea in 1990 police atrocity case

Jamnagar: A local court in Jamkhambhalia today rejected suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt' plea to pardon the delay in filing review petition in a 1990 alleged police atrocity case, against him and other police officers, which had resulted in the death of one person.

The rejection of Bhatt's application by judge N P Solanki has paved way for framing of charges against the IPS officer in the case, which is over two decades old.

PTI

Bhatt's lawyer I H Sayed said they would be challenging the rejection of their condonation of delay plea in the Gujarat High Court soon.

Public prosecutor Vimal Chotai said that the next hearing in the case has been scheduled on 28 February, when the court would decide on framing of charges against Bhatt.

He further said that the court was also in the process of hearing discharge pleas of six other accused in the case.

Bhatt has not filed discharge application till date.

Bhatt has also approached the Supreme Court, challenging a Gujarat High Court order, denying him relief by way of stay on criminal proceedings against him in the case.

The High Court, while refusing to stay the criminal proceeding against Bhatt, had observed that the framing of charges against Bhatt would be subject to outcome of his criminal revision and condonation of delay applications which
the Jamnagar court would be deciding upon.

Chotai said with the rejection of condonation of delay application, Bhatt's plea in SC is likely to become infractuous.

According to case details, one Prabhudas Vaishnani, who was arrested during a communal flare-up in Jamkhambhalia town in Jamnagar in 1990, died in a hospital few days after he was released from police custody.

Following this, Vaishnani's brother Amrutlal filed complaint against Bhatt and six others. The Gujarat government then took the position that Bhatt and others had acted in discharge of duty and filed a revision petition in the session
court in 1996, halting the criminal proceedings.

This revision petition was withdrawn by the state government in July last year, thereby exposing Bhatt and others to prosecution.

PTI