Sanjiv Bhatt not allowed to move court, says his wife; SC terms allegations serious

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday termed as “serious” the allegations made by the wife of arrested former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt that he was not being allowed to sign any document in custody to enable him approach the apex court.
A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha said the Gujarat government should file a reply to the allegations levelled by Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt in her petition, on or before October 4.“Before we go into the merit of the case, we would like Gujarat government to respond to the allegations. According to us, the issue raised is serious as it pertains to allegation made against the state that it is preventing a citizen to approach us,” the bench said.
Advocate Divyesh Pratap Singh, appearing for Shweta Sanjiv Bhatt said they have also challenged the remand of Bhatt, who was arrested by the Gujarat CID on September 5 in connection with a 22-year-old case of alleged planting of drugs to arrest an advocate.
“We are not on remand at present. We are not on individual hardship. If a citizen is not allowed to come to court and his wife has to come before us, then it’s a very serious issue,” the bench said.
At the outset, the bench asked Bhatt’s lawyer to read the averments made in the petition and said it had taken note of it.
Singh said Bhatt was not allowed to sign any documents including Vakalatnama for filing an appeal against the high court order.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Gujarat government, said it will file an affidavit with regard to the averments made in the petition.
The bench then listed the matter for October 4.
Bhatt and seven others, including some former policemen attached with the Banaskantha Police, were initially detained for questioning in the case. Bhatt was the Banaskantha district superintendent of police in 1996.
As per the police, the Banaskantha Police under Bhatt had arrested one Sumersingh Rajpurohit, an advocate, in 1996 on charges of possessing around one kg of drugs.