SC dismisses ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s plea in 1996 drug seizure case

PTI, Feb 20, 2023, 5:10 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt challenging a Gujarat High Court order which set a deadline for completion of trial in a 1996 drug seizure case.

A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Aravind Kumar also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on Bhatt for filing a “frivolous” petition.

The top court directed Bhatt to deposit the amount with the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority.

“The Petitioner rather than approaching this Court ought to have cooperated with the trial court for expeditious disposal. “The grant of extension is matter for the trial court. The petition is found to be absolutely frivolous and costs of Rs 10,000 are imposed,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Devadatt Kamat, appearing for Bhatt, submitted that a number of witnesses have not yet been examined and directions, as issued by high court, will prevent the trial court from deciding the matter in a judicious matter.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for Gujarat, argued that parties in criminal trial should be keen on swift disposal of the matter.

Bhatt, who was sacked from service in 2015, was a superintendent of police in Banaskantha district in 1996.

The district police under him had arrested Sumersingh Rajpurohit, a Rajasthan-based lawyer, in 1996 claiming they had seized drugs from a hotel room in Palanpur town where he was staying.

However, the Rajasthan police later said Rajpurohit was falsely implicated by the Banaskantha police to compel him to transfer a disputed property located at Pali in Rajasthan.

Former police inspector I B Vyas had moved the Gujarat High Court in 1999 demanding a thorough inquiry into the case.

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