According to an official, a Special Investigation Team of the Gujarat Police has detained former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt via a transfer warrant concerning a plot to falsely accuse innocent people in a case involving the 2002 riots.
After social activist Teesta Setalvad and former Gujarati Director-General of Police R B Sreekumar, Mr. Bhatt is the third defendant detained in the case.
He has been detained in Banaskantha district’s Palanpur prison since 2018 in connection with a 27-year-old case in which he is suspected of planting drugs to frame a lawyer from Rajasthan. He was also given a life sentence during the trial in a Jamnagar custodial death case.
Later in the day, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad Crime Branch, Chaitanya Mandlik, said, “We took Sanjiv Bhatt’s custody from Palanpur prison on transfer warrant and officially arrested him on Tuesday evening.”
Mr. Mandlik is one of the SIT members that the state government established last month to look into the roles played by Mr. Bhatt, Mr. Sreekumar, and Ms. Setalvad in cases involving the post-Godhra riots of 2002 and evidence fabrication.
The crime branch detained Ms. Setalvad and Mr. Sreekumar last month, and they is presently in jail.
The two were detained after the Supreme Court upheld the SIT’s clearance of former Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the riots cases from 2002.
The Indian Penal Code’s sections 468 (forgery for deception), 471 (forgery), 194 (providing or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of a capital offense), 211 (institute criminal proceedings to cause harm), and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) all apply to the trio in the FIR that was filed against them.
The trio is accused of abusing the legal system by planning to falsify evidence to falsely accuse innocent persons of a crime that carries the death penalty.