Bhatt was found guilty of fabricating evidence in 1996 to falsely implicate a lawyer from Rajasthan by saying that drugs had been taken from the lawyer’s hotel room in Palanpur. At the time, Bhatt was the superintendent of police for Banaskantha.A file photo of former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt.

Latest Updates From Gujarat : In a 1996 case involving the planting of drugs to frame a lawyer, a sessions court in Palanpur, Gujarat’s Banaskantha district, sentenced former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to 20 years in prison on Thursday. Bhatt was found guilty of fabricating evidence in 1996 to falsely implicate a lawyer from Rajasthan by saying that drugs had been taken from the lawyer’s hotel room in Palanpur. At the time, Bhatt was the superintendent of police for Banaskantha.

Bhatt’s 20-year sentence must be served consecutively, meaning it would begin after the completion of his life term in the Jamnagar custodial death case, as the court made clear. After being fired from the force in 2015, Bhatt has been incarcerated since 2018. Bhatt was found guilty on Wednesday by Additional District and Sessions Judge J N Thakkar in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

On Thursday, the severity of the sentence was disclosed. According to the judge’s decision, Bhatt was also fined Rs 2 lakh and would have to serve an extra year in jail if he didn’t pay it. Sections 167 (public servant producing an erroneous document with purpose to inflict injury), 465 (forgery), and 120b (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code were used to find the former police officer guilty. Additionally, he was found guilty of violating the NDPS Act’s section 21 (drug possession), section 27A (funding illicit commerce and harboring offenders), and section 58-2 (wilfully and deliberately providing false information to conduct a search or make an arrest). Reporters were informed by Bhatt’s attorney SB Thakor that his client intends to appeal the decision at the High Court.

“The court simply made the assumption that Bhatt bought and cultivated opium. If not, Thakor stated, “there was no hard proof to support that accusation.” Sumersingh Rajpurohit, a lawyer from Rajasthan, was detained by the district police under the NDPS Act after it was reported that drugs, specifically opium, had been found in the hotel room where he was staying in Palanpur. Bhatt led the police team.

The Banaskantha police, according to Rajasthan police subsequently, had fraudulently accused Rajpurohit in order to force him to cede a disputed property in Pali, the neighboring state. In 1999, I B Vyas, a former police officer, filed a lawsuit in the Gujarat High Court requesting a comprehensive investigation into the matter.

After being detained by the state CID in September 2018 on suspicion of drug-related offenses under the NDPS Act, Bhatt has been housed in the Palanpur sub-jail. Bhatt had petitioned the Supreme Court last year, claiming bias, to move the drug planting case trial to a different sessions court. Additionally, he had asked for instructions on how to videotape the trial court sessions. But Bhatt’s plea was rejected by the Supreme Court, and he was fined Rs 3 lakh for accusing a lower court judge of bias in the drug planting case. In a 1990 custodial death case, a Jamnagar sessions court found Bhatt guilty of murder in 2019 while the drug planting trial was still pending, and sentenced him to life in prison. Bhatt was the Jamnagar district’s additional superintendent of police at the time of the custodial death.

By newsparviews.com

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