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A note on the cases and conduct of Shri Sanjiv Bhatt

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Much undue controversy has been raised by the vested interests on the alleged arrest and harassment of an IPS officer Shri Sanjiv Bhatt. Always the State Government has maintained that the process of law is above everything and it honours rule of law. The State government holds the Hon’ble Courts in high esteem. However, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt for the reasons best known to him has been leveling wild and baseless allegations against the government. It is strange that he, on the one hand wants due process of law should prevail and on the other hand when the same process of law is catching him up, he is alleging all sorts of things which he never disclosed earlier. Wild allegations are being made about harassment of Police Officers and registration of false cases. It is strange that nobody is noticing that no such criminal case has been registered against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt by the Government. Even Shri R. B. Shreekumar retired DGP rank officer and Shri Rahul Sharma DIG rank officer who have been making statements against the Chief Minister and the State Government, no such complaints have been made by the Government. Hence, the government has nothing to say on the private FIR registered by the Police. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has been in touch with some of the State Congress leaders as his email exchanges disclose. The revelations have sounded trouble for such people for which the allegations are being leveled against the government. The allegations made against the Chief Minister on alleged illegal direction on 27-02-2002 after almost 10 years of incidence has already been investigated by the SIT. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has passed order on 12th September 2011 after considering the SIT reports and the Amicus Curiae’s comments thereon. The CBI had carried out investigation to the late Shri Haren Pandya’s killing and Shri Sanjiv Bhatt did not found it fit to disclose the alleged killers name said to have been told to him by an accused Asgar Ali while he was the Jail Superintendent. Now when the Hon’ble Gujarat High Court is seized of his matter regarding his atrocities on hundreds of people at Jam khambalia in Jamnagar district, he is coming out with a wild disclosure. Shri K. D. Panth is a Police Constable in the Police Department in Gujarat. He had been cited by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, suspended IPS officer of Gujarat cadre as witness to his alleged presence in the meeting at the Chief Minister’s residence on 27-02-2002. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt took Shri
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K. D. Panth before the SIT looking in to the complaint of Mrs. Zakia Ahesan Jaffrey and suo motu produced him as his witness. Later on Shri Panth recollected that he was not present in the State during the time when the said alleged meeting was held on 27-022002. He recollected the fact that he along with his relatives had gone to Mumbai on 25.02.2002 & returned to Gandhinagar on 28.02.2002. Shri K. D. Panth wrote to the SIT about the facts and wanted correct his stand. However, on 16-06-2011Shri Sanjiv Bhatt coaxed Shri KD Panth to meet him as his statement is required for strengthening his case for demand for security cover. When Shri Panth along with one Shri Shrenik Shah met Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, he was taken before a Notary in the midnight and forced him to make an affidavit. Shri K. D. Panth realizing that he has been duped and coerced by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, immediately on 17.06.2011 filed an affidavit before the Executive Magistrate, Gandhinagar narrating about the facts and incident which took place in the night intervening 16.06.2011 & 17.06.2001. Regarding this incident Shri Panth lodged a complaint in Ghatlodia Police Station vide I. C. R. No. 149/2011 on 22.06.2011. In this connection Shri Panth’s statement under section 161 of CrPC was recorded by the Investigation Officer Shri N. C. Patel, under videography at his own request. Later on he recorded his statement before Ld. Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ahmedabad Rural at Mirjapur Court u/s 164 CrPC on 30.06.2011. I.O. of this offence has also recorded the statement of witness of this case namely Shrenik Shah. This witness also gave evidence under section 164 CrPC before the Ld. Additional Senior Civil Judge, Ahmedabad Rural at Mirjapur Court. Mr. Shrenik Shah who is a witness in this case of Ghatlodia Police Station I.C.R. No. 149/11 was threatened to compel Shri KD Panth to withdraw the FIR or face dire consequences. Hence, a case u/s 507 of I.P.C. was also registered by Shri Shrenik Shah in Chandkheda Police Station bearing C.R. No.II 3177/11 0n 23.07.11. As a part of investigation Shri Sanjiv Bhatt was summoned u/s 160 of Cr.P.C.to remain present before the Investigation Officer. First summons was issued on 12.08.2011 to appear before I.O. on 24.08.2011. 2nd summons was issued on 25.08.2011 for 02.09.2011. 3rd summons issued on 02.09.2011 to remain present on 19.09.2011. 4th summons was issued on 20.09.2011 to remain present on 30.09.2011. He has not remained present on any of the date given to him, stating various reasons. He sent communication in respect of last
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summons stating that as he has to remain present before the Justice Nanavati & Justice Mehta Commission it is not possible for him to remain present on 30.09.2011. It was inquired in the office of the Justice Nanavati & Justice Mehta Commission of Inquiry; and found that he has not been asked by the commission to remain present before the commission on 30.09.2011. It transpires from the above fact he is avoiding the summons and inquiry process, hence it was felt that to record his statement his arrest was the only step that the Investigation officer has taken. This case being investigated by the concerned Police Officer where the case has been registered and detained Shri Sanjiv Bhatt as part of investigation on 30-09-2011. Search warrants were issued by the Investigation Officer on 30-09-2011 and on 01-10-2011. It is alleged that his house was ransacked during the search which is baseless and false as search was carried out as per law and under videography. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt filed a petition in the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India praying for transfer of an offence registered as C.R.No.I 149 of 2011 which is filed as private offence independently by Shri K.D. Panth. It is a settled position in law that extraordinary constitutional jurisdiction of the Hon’ble Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India would be sparingly invoked and normally, a litigant should approach the jurisdictional High Court invoking its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has neither approached the Hon’ble High Court invoking its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India nor has he assigned any reasons shown as to why he cannot move the Hon’ble High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. Further, the facts stated and the grounds raised do not even remotely justify the petitioner invoking the jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India as none of his fundamental rights are violated. There is certain startling and shocking fact which shows that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is guilty of suppressing most material facts and making incorrect statement and even submitting fabricated document on oath. The copy of the office order mentioning rewards given to Shri K. D. Panth by the present petitioner as annexed in his petition is fabricated and words have been inserted deliberately though the actual order is different. The investigation into the riot cases of the year 2002 is completed by the SIT and the trials are going on strictly in accordance with the order passed by this Honorable Court dated 1st May 2009 in Writ Petition (Criminal) No.109 of 2003. So far as the complaint of Smt. Zakia Naseem Ahesan Jaffrey dated 8th June 2006 is concerned, the said
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complaint is already examined by the SIT pursuant to order dated 27th April 2009 passed by this Honorable Court in SLP (Criminal) No.1088 of 2008. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has issued final direction in its order dated 12th September 2011. Hence, the allegation that witness like Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is being targeted is baseless. The judicial process will continue as per law. The allegation being made against private FIR lodged independently by Shri K. D. Panth said to be with a view to falsely implicate, pressurize and intimidate Shri Bhatt is wild and baseless. Even Shri Sanjiv Bhatt for the reasons best known to him, chosen to come out with wild allegations with respect to the incidents which took place 10 years back. He seeks to vaguely justify such a belated stand on the ground that he was ‘under the oath of secrecy’ all these years. However, on the contrary, he is sharing all information with several NGOs, Journalists and political people as his email exchanges show which would clearly demonstrate that the said explanation for delay is far from truth. Even the petitioner did not file any affidavit before the Justice Nanavati and Justice A. H. Mehta Inquiry Commission on the alleged facts as he is coming out now, neither he provided any information when the then Addl. DGP in charge of the State Intelligence Bureau Shri R. B. Shreekumar filed affidavit on behalf of the department in the said Inquiry Commission. The electronic media interview given by Shri R. B. Shreekumar on 24th April 2011 bears testimony to it. Further, during the hearing of his petition in the Gujarat High Court, as per his habit, made wild allegation that the alleged killer of late Shri Haren Pandya, Asgar Ali confessed to him that Tulsi Prajapati was the real assassin. It is strange to understand that as he claims to be a conscious Police Officer as to why he did not disclose this fact to the CBI investigating this offence. Why he came out with this alleged disclosure through an affidavit when the hearing of his petition was over and the Hon’ble High Court is to deliver its order. This shows his deliberate attempt to create controversy with an ulterior motive. These wild and unsupported claims made by him are readily supported by the vested interests. It is worthwhile to mention that Shri Sanjiv Bhatt is an IPS officer of 1988 batch belonging to Gujarat cadre, whose career since the beginning of his service has remained controversial. He has been in sidelined postings throughout his career. He is facing several departmental proceedings and criminal cases of serious nature. Often he has been taking undue advantage of the government citing different arguments of his actions of omission and commission as part of his
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duty. However, many departmental inquiries could not be settled and the criminal cases against him are still pending for which he has been trying to get favour from the government. Even he has not been promoted as IGP though his batch mates have been promoted long back. The controversial officer has come out with a claim that he had attended the meeting on 27-02-2002 when alleged illegal instructions were given by the Chief Minister. He has cited the support of a driver, who allegedly took him to the CM’s residence where the meeting took place. In fact the driver Shri Tarachand Yadav had been dismissed from the service long back for serious misconduct of forgery of certificates to obtain the driver’s job. Shri K. D. Panth has denied his presence in Gandhinagar on 27-02-2002. It is strange that the statement of the disgruntled officer and the dismissed driver are being given such hype while ignoring the statements of other most senior Police and IAS officers who remained present during the meeting on 27th February 2002. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt had never been provided “Y” category security by the Government. There is a procedure to asses threat perception of a person where a Committee consisting of the Home Secretary, Additional DGP (Intelligence) and the Joint Director of the Central IB consider the category of the security cover required for a person and on this recommendation such security is provided by the Government. No such recommendation has ever been made for Shri Sanjiv Bhatt. The allegation that the Government has withdrawn his security is false and baseless. The DGP provided appropriate security to him. In fact Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has been in the habit of keeping more personnel at his residence in excess of the orderlies entitled. There had been such instances when he was posted at Banaskantha as SP and at Rajkot as DCP earlier. Shri Bhatt was posted as SP, Banaskantha from 13-10-1995 to 18-06-1996. He was keeping one head constable, eight constables, three constables for attending telephone calls, three constables for Picket duties, three commandos, four constable for guard duties, twelve constable for striking force and three constables for gardening at his residence at Banaskantha SP’s Bunglow. Shri Bhatt was charge-sheeted on 30/9/1999 for keeping more number of orderlies than the sanctioned number. He was then transferred to Rajkot as DCP, where he remained for a period of eight months from 19th June 1996 till 23rd February 1997, as the Government had to transfer him out along with the then CP Rajkot, for an unpleasant incident. He was keeping 22 constables at his residence when he was posted at Rajkot as DCP. Show cause notices for
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such misconduct were also issued at the relevant time. Also he was instrumental in helping a person in a land grabbing case by lodging false criminal case against the opponent under prohibition Act. He was transferred to State IB where he remained till May 1997. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt the then ASP, Jamnagar during a call of `Bharat Bandh` on 30/10/1990 incident of arson and fire broke out at village Jamjodhpur, district, Jamnagar. Shri Bhatt enforced curfew for 3 days and used excessive power and TADA. Therefore, the then Government appointed a Commission under the Chairmanship of retired Judge Shri B.V. Desai. In the Commission’s report Shri Bhatt was held responsible and a decision to initiate departmental inquiry was taken by the Government and accordingly he was charge-sheeted on 6.3.1992. In view of this, Shri Bhatt was not given promotion of Senior Time Scale. During the “Bandh Call” police atrocities were committed when innocent people were beaten up mercilessly. One pregnant lady was also beaten up mercilessly. Kidney of two persons was damaged badly and later on one person namely Prabhudas Madhavji Vaishnani succumbed to injury on 18-11-1990 and died later on. There was a private criminal complaint filed at Jamjodhpur Police station against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt under Jamjodhpur Police station CR No.102/1990 under IPC sections 302, 323, 506(1) 114 by Shri Amrutlal Madhavji Vaishnani. This case is pending with the Sessions Court at Kahambalia, Jamanagar district. Meanwhile Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has approached the Gujarat High Court against the withdrawal of revision petition by the State government and against framing of charge sheet against him. The Gujarat High Court has completed the hearing and order is reserved to be delivered on 10th October 2011. A criminal complaint was filed in 1996 by one Shri Sumer Singh Rajpurohit, an Advocate practicing at Pali, Rajasthan against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, the then SP, Banaskantha District. It is mentioned that Shri Sumer Singh Rajput was a tenant of sister of Shri R.R. Jain, a sitting Judge of Gujarat High Court. To get the tenant evacuated for the rented premises, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt, the then SP of Banaskantha and his subordinate police officers planted more than 1 kg of Narcotic drug in one room in a hotel at Palanpur, Gujarat, which was shown that Shri Sumer Singh was occupying the same while he was at Pali, Rajasthan. The said complainant Advocate was abducted at midnight from Pali on the instructions of Shri Sanjiv Bhatt by his subordinate police staff and brought him to Palanpur, Banaskantha in Gujarat. The Advocate under pressure vacated the property. Physical possession of the property was immediately handed over to sister of Shri R. R. Jain, Judge of Gujarat
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High Court. Shri Sanjiv Bhatt asked released Shri Sumersingh Rajpurohit on 08-05-1996, after filing a report u/s 169 Cr.P.C., in which it was stated that Shri Sumer Singh could not be identified in the Test Identification Parade. After the registration of the said private complaint in the year 1998 Shri R. R. Jain (the then High Court Judge, Rajasthan) and Shri Bhatt had filed a transfer petition (Criminal) No. 98/98 in the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. The said petition was filed praying for transfer of proceedings. The Hon'ble Supreme Court disposed off the said proceedings vide an order dtd.3/11/98. The State of Gujarat filed a petition in Rajasthan High Court praying for quashing of the private complaint filed by a private party, inter alia, contending that no further proceeding can lie without sanction of the State Government of Gujarat under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. More over Shri R. R. Jain who is also named in the private complaint also filed a separate writ petition for quashing of the said complaint before the Rajasthan High Court. Rajasthan High Court refusing to quash the complaint by a common order dated 5th April, 2000 passed in both the said petitions. Shri R. R. Jain approached the Hon'ble Supreme Court by filing Special Leave to Appeal (CRL) No.1327/2000. Government of Gujarat also filed Special Leave to appeal (CRL) 1931/2000 in the Hon'ble Supreme Court. The Hon'ble Supreme Court vide an order dated 1st May, 2000 stayed further proceedings of the said private complaint pending before the court at Jodhpur-Rajasthan. Ultimately on 30th September, 2002 Hon'ble Supreme Court of India pleased to admit both the petitions by granting leave to appeal and was pleased to direct Stay against the proceedings granted earlier to continue during the pendency of the appeal. The said appeal is not heard so far and the stay order granted by the Hon'ble Supreme Court is continuing till date. Meanwhile, Gujarat Vigilance Commission, Gujarat State, had also opined vide its letter dated 15/7/2002 that charges leveled against Shri Bhatt are very serious in nature, therefore he should be placed under suspension. Again, Vigilance Commission wrote to the Government vide letter dated 19.10.2006 as the Government did not place Shri Bhatt under suspension.

Complaint against Shri Sanjiv Bhatt in National Human Rights Commission:
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Shri Siddheshwar Puri, Secretary, Bar Association, Pali Rajasthan made a complaint to National Human Rights Commission on 1/6/1996
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and alleged that wrongful arrest and detention of a lawyer named Shri Sumer Singh by Gujarat Police on 2.5.1996 from his residence at Pali, Rajasthan and implicating him in a false Narcotic case under section 17 of NDPS Act registered at Palanpur, District Banaskantha, Gujarat. The National Human Rights Commission vide its order dated 15/9/2010 No. 2147/96-97/NHRC/FC ordered State Government to pay a sum of Rs. 1/- lakh monetary relief to Sumersingh, Advocate of Pali within eight weeks and asked to send a compliance report with proof of payment. The Gujarat government issued order dated 23-122010 as per the direction of the NHRC to pay the amount. A cheque was issued on 25-01-2011 in favour of Shri S.C. Rajpurohit. Now Sanjiv Bhatt has been directed by the Government to deposit the fine amount.

Promotions from senior time scale to DIG: (4 promotions simultaneously)
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As Shri Bhatt is a 1988 Batch IPS officer he was entitled to get senior time scale on 1/7/92 but on account of above mentioned pending departmental inquiries he was not granted senior time scale. Resultantly he was not entitled to get junior administrative grade, selection grade and DIG grade along with his Batch mates. However, the State Government dropped all the 3 departmental inquiries against Shri Bhatt vide order dated 5.8.2005, 3.9.2005 and 24/7/2006. The State Government gave promotions in Senior Time Scale on 13/9/2007, in junior administrative grade, selection grade, and DIG grade all the three promotions by holding 2 special DPCs on one day on 21.9.2007. Therefore Shri Bhatt got 3 more promotions i.e. in Junior Administrative Grade on 21/9/2001, in Selection Grade on 3/12/2008, and in DIG grade on 29/9/2007. However, though his batchmates and juniors have been promoted as IGs, Shri Sanjiv Bhatt has not been promoted because of number of departmental inquiries pending against him.

Pending departmental inquiry against Shri Bhatt at present:
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Shri Bhatt was charge-sheeted vide order dated 29.12.10 for irregularities in police recruitment in May, 1996 under the Chairmanship of Shri Bhatt when he was working as SP, Banaskantha. Shri Bhatt has not yet submitted his defence statement. At present Shri Bhatt is posted in DIG grade as Principal SRP Training Centre, Junagadh vide Govt. order dated 1/9/2010. He remained absent from the duties for which repeated directions were given to him. Departmental Inquiry was instituted against him and he was
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suspended for gross indiscipline. The Government has served chargesheet to him 0on 19th September 2011. Pending preliminary inquiry against Shri Bhatt at present:
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Preliminary inquiry has been instituted for the misuse of official resources by Shri Sanjiv Bhatt when he was posted as Additional Director General of Civil Defence. Inquiry has been initiated by the Director General of Civil Defence for misusing official vehicles. Inquiry is in advance stage in the matter where Shri Sanjiv Bhatt got issued more weapons than he is authorized and unauthorisedly taking away weapons without recording the same in the official Register. Serious misconduct amounting to offence under the Arms Act is involved. *****

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