Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 22
The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing on former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s plea to suspend his life sentence in a three-decade-old custodial death case to January 27.
The Supreme Court deferred the hearing after Bhatt’s advocate-on-record said the senior advocate, who was to argue the matter, was indisposed.
The deferment order was passed by a Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, after Bhatt’s counsel Farrukh Rasheed sought an adjournment.
Bhatt is currently lodged in Palanpur Jail after being awarded life-imprisonment by a Jamnagar sessions court in 2019 for the custodial death of Prabhudas Vaishnani in November 1990.
Suspended in 2011 for remaining absent without permission and misuse of official vehicles, Bhatt was sacked in August, 2015.
Bhatt alleged that he was a victim of “political vendetta” and the charges were framed against him without proper sanction from the state government.
Several human rights activists and organisations from India and abroad had on Monday requested the Supreme Court to grant bail to Bhatt.
At a virtual press conference organised by the Indian American Muslim Council and Hindus for Human Rights, they had said Bhatt’s conviction in the case was wrong and based on fraudulent evidence.
“The Gujarat High Court ought to have appreciated that the trial court did not consider evidence of court witness PP Pandey, Investigating Officer, and then SP, CID (Crime), Ahmedabad, who recorded the statement of various police officers, clearly indicating no beating or ill-treatment of the arrested accused,” Bhatt submitted in his petition challenging the high court order on the issue.