Gujarat HC Partially Permits Bhatt’s Plea for Access to Records in NDPS Case

The High Court said that the documents requested by Bhatt were necessary for him to defend himself in the case.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>File photo of Sanjiv Bhatt.</p></div>

On Monday, 4 October, the Gujarat High Court, responding to a plea by former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, permitted him access to certain documents related to his trial in a 1996 Narcotics Drugs Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) case against him, The Indian Express reported.

Bhatt, who was the district superintendent of police of Banaskantha district in Gujarat in 1996, is accused of planting drugs, 1.5 kilograms of opium, as manufactured evidence against a lawyer at a Palanpur hotel.

He is also serving a life sentence in a prison in Palanpur after being convicted for the custodial torture and death of Prabhudas Vaishnani in 1990, one of the many men he had detained while trying to prevent a riot in Jamnagar district.

Bhatt came to national prominence after filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Modi when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, with respect to the latter's alleged role in 2002 Gujarat riots. The Special Investigation Team, however, had dismissed Bhatt's claims as false.

The papers that Bhatt has requested regarding the 1996 case include some pages from the case diary along with certain attached documents, copies of two First Information Reports related to the case, and an A-summary report of the case, according to The Indian Express report.

Bhatt had previously filed two applications with the Palanpur trial court for access to the above mentioned documents in order to have a fair trial.

The trial court had rejected the applications.

The Gujarat HC on Monday said that the trial court had a mistake, calling its conclusion 'improper', further stating that these documents were required “for adjudication of trial as well as proper defence of the applicant accused (Bhatt)”, as quoted by The Indian Express.

(With Inputs from The Indian Express.)

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