At the time of the incident, Bhatt was posted as additional superintendent of police in Jamnagar district of Gujarat.
In a major setback to expelled IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, a Jamnagar court in Gujarat on Thursday sentenced him to life imprisonment in a 30-year-old case related to the custodial death of a man. Along with him, another police officer Praveen Singh Jhala has also been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Last week, the Supreme Court refused to hear his plea requesting examination of 11 other witnesses in the case. The sacked cop had moved the top court pointing out that examination of these witnesses was crucial for the outcome of this case. The Gujarat Police, while opposing his plea, called it “tactic to delay the outcome of the case”.
At the time of the incident, Bhatt was posted as additional superintendent of police in Jamnagar district of Gujarat. As per the prosecution, during a riot, Bhatt had detained over a hundred people and one of the detainees lost his life in hospital after being released. The case was file by the brother of deceased.
Bhatt was suspended from service in 2011. He was charged with remaining absent from duty without getting due permission and misuse of official vehicles. He was sacked in August 2015.
“The court found Pravinsinh Zala and Sanjiv Bhatt guilty under IPC section 302 and thus sentenced them to life imprisonment under IPC section 302. Rest of the accused were found guilty under section 323, 506 for custodial torture,” Indian Express quoted special public prosecutors Tushar Gokani and Madhu Mehta as saying.
Judge DM Vyas delivered the verdict. The quantum of punishment for the rest of the five accused is awaited. A 1988-batch IPS officer, Bhatt is currently in judicial custody in a Palanpur jail in a case related to a 22-year old drug planting case of Banaskantha.