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Supreme Court stays trial of Sanjiv Bhatt

Delhi,Immigration/Law/Rights, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday stayed the trial of Gujarat police officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who is facing charges of pressurising his subordinate to make a false statement before the SIT on the alleged inaction of the state government during the 2002 riots.


A bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai stayed the proceedings against Bhatt after counsel I.H. Syed argued that the entire case against Bhatt was fabricated and was a consequence of political vendetta.


Syed, who appeared for Bhatt, contended Bhatt, now posted as principal, State Reserve Police Training Centre, Junagadh, was "a victim of political vendetta".


Seeking the investigation by an independent agency which is outside the control of the Gujarat Chief Minister Narenra Modi, Bhatt in his petition said that he was being falsely implicated and the attempt was pressurise and intimidate him.


Bhatt, in his petition, claimed that that the "FIR has been lodged (against him) with a view to falsely implicate, pressurize and intimidate" him and "other witnesses at the behest of the Chief Minister of the State."


He contended that he has invited the wrath of the Modi regime as in several of his "depositions before the SIT as well as the ongoing deposition before the Commission of Inquiry, revealed certain facts which have the potential of directly implicating Shri Narendra Modi in the Gujarat Riots of 2002 as well as the subsequent ongoing cover-up operations...."


Bhatt also said in his petition that his deposition before the SIT and the Commission of Inquiry also reveal the "unholy nexus between the investigating agencies, prosecuting agencies and high office bearers of the Government of Gujarat for undermining certain judicial proceedings" including a case related to the 2002 riots pending before the apex court.


In the case stayed by the apex court Friday, it was alleged that Bhatt had pressurized constable K.D. Pant to tell the apex court appointed SIT that he had accompanied the IPS officer in his car when he went to Chief Minister Modi's residence on the evening of Feb 27, 2002.



Bhatt had claimed that in the meeting, Modi had told senior officers of the administration and police not to act against the rioters in the wake of Godhra train carnage.


However, Pant subsequently retracted his statement and said that he had made it under the pressure of the IPS officer.


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