IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has been put on trial for murder in a 22-year-old custodial death case. A local court in Jamkhambhalilya, Jamnagar district, framed charges on Thursday against the suspended IPS officer and six other policemen in the custodial death case.
Jamkhambaliya Sessions court judge NT Solanki, on Thursday, framed charges under section 302 (murder) and other sections of CrPC and fixed further hearing of the case on December 4.
Public prosecutor Vimal Chotai said that the court had framed `charges against Bhatt and other policemen following a recent high court order. “Now we will furnish a list of witnesses who will be examined during the trial,” Chotai said.
Meanwhile, Bhatt’s lawyer IH Saiyed said: “We will challenge this procedure before the appellate court.” Apart from Bhatt, six policemen — Dipak Bhagwandas Shah, Keshubhai Jadeja, Shailesh Pandya, Pravinsinh Jorubha Jhala, Pravinsinh Babubhai Jhala and Anopsinh Jethwa — are the accused in the case.
The case pertains to the death of one Prabhudas Vaishnani who had allegedly succumbed to injuries inflicted on him while in custody at the Jamkhambaliya police station. The police had allegedly thrashed him on the night of October 30, 1990. Bhatt was then assistant superintendent of police (ASP) in Jamnagar. He had arrested Vaishnani and more than 100 other people for rioting and other offences. They were protesting against the arrest of BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani who had embarked on his Rath Yatra at that time.