1996 Drug Seizure Case: Gujarat Court Convicts Ex-IPS Officer Sanjiv Bhatt | Details

Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has been convicted in a 1996 drug seizure case by a sessions court in Gujarat's Banaskantha district.

IPS Officer Sanjiv Bhatt

A sessions court in Palanpur town of Gujarat's Banaskantha district on Wednesday convicted former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a drug seizure case dating back to 1996.

The court's verdict on Wednesday found Bhatt guilty of falsely implicating a Rajasthan-based lawyer in a drug case.

Sanjiv Bhatt, who was serving as the superintendent of police of Banaskantha district at the time, had claimed that in 1996, police had seized drugs from a hotel room in Palanpur where the lawyer was staying. The lawyer, identified as Sumersingh Rajpurohit, was arrested under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act) based on these claims.

However, the Rajasthan police later refuted these allegations, stating that Rajpurohit was falsely implicated by the Banaskantha police. They alleged that the motive behind this false implication was to coerce Rajpurohit into transferring a disputed property located in Pali, Rajasthan.

Former police inspector I B Vyas raised concerns about the case in 1999 and moved the Gujarat High Court, demanding a thorough inquiry into the matter.

Following the court's verdict, Sanjiv Bhatt, who was dismissed from the Indian Police Service in 2015, faces the prospect of punishment. The quantum of punishment is expected to be pronounced on Thursday afternoon.

What Is The 1996 Drug Seizure Case?

Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has been found guilty in a historic Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) case dating back 28 years, where he was accused of fabricating evidence against a lawyer by allegedly placing 1.5 kg of opium in his hotel room in Palanpur. At the time, Bhatt held the position of District Superintendent of Police in Banaskantha.

This verdict comes amid Bhatt already serving a life sentence in connection to a custodial death case from 1989. In that incident, which occurred during a riot, Bhatt had detained numerous individuals, resulting in the death of one person.

The recent conviction, announced on March 27, pertains to a drug seizure incident in 1996. Bhatt stands accused of involvement in framing Rajasthan lawyer Sumersingh Rajpurohit under the NDPS Act, alleging drug discovery in a Palanpur hotel room where Rajpurohit was residing.

However, subsequent investigations by Rajasthan police suggested that Rajpurohit had been wrongly implicated by the Banaskantha police, allegedly to coerce him into transferring ownership of a disputed property in Pali, Rajasthan. Bhatt has been identified as the primary defendant in this case. The sentencing is scheduled to be declared on Thursday.