Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sanjeev Bhatt moves High Court challenging govt decision

Suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who has taken on Gujarat’s BJP government on handling of post-Godhra riots, challenged before the High Court the State government’s decision to withdraw its petition seeking revision of a Jamnagar court’s order initiating criminal proceedings against him in a two-decade-old case.

A person died allegedly due to police beating during a communal flare-up in Jamkhambhliya taluka of Jamnagar in 1990 when Mr. Bhatt was posted there as Dy SP. A local court later initiated criminal proceedings against him and six others.

In the petition, which is likely to come up for hearing on Friday, Mr. Bhatt has alleged the State government was acting with a bias against him because he had accused Chief Minister Narendra Modi of misusing the state machinery during post-Godhra riots in his affidavit before the Supreme Court.

He has sought a direction from the High Court to the government that the revision application be restored.

Khambhaliya court, where the case is going on, had last month issued bailable warrant against Mr. Bhatt after he failed to appear.

In July, the government withdrew its petition which had sought revision of the lower court’s order initiating criminal proceedings. Government lawyer said since the state is the prosecutor in all criminal cases, it could not defend the officers simultaneously by seeking a revision of the trial court’s order.

This paved way for framing of charges against the accused.

Following Mr. Bhatt’s allegation against Mr. Modi with regard to handling of 2002 riots, he was suspended by the state government on August 8 for alleged misconduct, unauthorised absence from duty, misuse of official vehicle and not appearing before departmental inquiry panel.

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