The Jamnagar sessions court has sentenced former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to life imprisonment under IPC 302 in a 1990 custodial death case. Another accused policeman Pravinsinh Jhala has also been given life imprisonment, whereas judgment on four other is awaited, reports said.
Bhatt — who is currently lodged at the Palanpur sub-jail since September 2018 in connection with an alleged case of framing a lawyer for possession of drugs when he was the superintendent of police in Banaskantha district — was suspended from service in 2011 on the ground of "unauthorised absence" from duty and misuse of official vehicles, and later sacked in August 2015.
He was an accused in the custodial death case of one Prabhudas Vaishnani who was held up along with 150 others for rioting and other offences during a bandh call in view of BJP leader LK Advani's Rath Yatra in October 1990.
Vaishnani was badly beaten in custody and later succumbed to injuries. Thereafter, Vaishnani's brother Amrutlal had lodged a complaint against Bhatt, who was the assistant superintendent of police in Jamnagar and eight other policemen and the trial started in 2016.
The controversial ex-officer is also known for testifying against Narendra Modi who was the chief minister of Gujarat at the time 2002 riots. Bhatt had claimed that he was part of the meeting on 27 February, 2002 where Modi had allegedly asked the policemen to “let Hindus vent their anger” after the Godhra train burning incident. However, the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court discarded Bhatt’s testimony on the ground that he was not present in the meeting.
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Updated Date: Jun 20, 2019 13:22:59 IST