Sanjiv Bhatt

Dismissed Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt on Thursday was convicted and awarded life imprisonment in a 1990 custodial death case under Section 302 of the IPC.

A police constable, Praveen Singh Jhala has also been awarded life imprisonment by Jamnagar District District and Sessions Judge DM Vyas.

Bhatt and constable Jhala were sentenced to life imprisonment in the case, which pertains to the death of one Prabhudas Vaishnani, who detained at Jamjodhpur town of Jamnagar district during a communal riot.

Prabhudas Vaishnani was in the police custody for nine days, and subsequently died in a hospital. Initially, renal failure was described to be the reason for the death.

Also Read – Assam: Murderer of Hojai minor boy sentenced to life imprisonment

But soon an FIR wad filed for custodial torture resulting in death was filed by Vaishnani’s brother, Amritbhai. The case was against Bhatt, then Additional Superintendent of Police; Jhala; and six other policemen.

The complaint alleged that the victim was severely thrashed and tortured in custody.

The case was taken up in 1995 but for a long time trial did not take place due to a stay in the Gujarat High Court.

Once the high court’s stay was vacated in 2011, the wheels of justice started to move. Bhatt was suspended in 2011, and later sacked in August 2015. He is currently in jail in a drug peddling case.

In this case, prosecution had submitted five thousand page chargesheet. Along with Sanjiv Bhatt, two police officers and four constables were also accused in this case.

The charges brought against them were under section 302, 323, 506, 34, 114.

Sanjit Bhatt’s chances of getting relief had deemed last week when the Supreme Court refused his plea for seeking examination of 11 additional witnesses in the case.


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