Ahmedabad, Oct 17: Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested for allegedly fabricating evidence to implicate Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots, was granted bail by a local court here today, 17 days after he was sent to jail.
Session Judge V K Vyas granted bail on the condition that Bhatt would cooperate with the investigation and would remain present when called for.
Bhatt was in jail after being arrested on September 30 in connection with an FIR filed against him by a police constable K D Pant for allegedly threatening him and making him sign a false affidavit with regards to the IPS officer's presence in the February 27, 2002 meeting called by the Chief Minister after the Godhra train burning incident.
Bhatt had moved bail application on October 3, which was opposed by the state government.During the week-long hearing on Bhatt's bail plea, his advocate I H Syed had contended that his client's arrest was politically motivated and was aimed at getting hold of and destroying the alleged evidence that he had against Modi with regard to the 2002 communal riots.
Syed had further contended that the complaint, on which Bhatt was arrested, was falsely made with an ulterior motive at the behest of some political functionaries and senior police officers.
Syed had said that the complainant K D Pant, who had alleged that Bhatt had threatened him and forced him to sign false affidavits, appeared to be acting at the dictates of political members of the state government. He had said that most of the sections of IPC, under which Bhatt was charged, were bailable and hence he should be granted bail.
State government's senior counsel S V Raju opposed Bhatt's bail, contending that Bhatt did not deserve bail as he was a habitual offender, with criminal antecedents. To support his claims, Raju highlighted other criminal cases against Bhatt in various courts, which included case of police torture in custody registered in 1994 in Porbander, and a case under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, which is pending in Pali, Rajasthan since 1996.
Raju had further said that prima facie, there was a case made out against Bhatt, punishable up to life imprisonment. He had also alleged that Bhatt had tried to evade the process of law by not cooperating with the investigation in case against him and not remaining present before the investigation officer, despite four summons. He further accused Bhatt of tampering with the evidence.
Raju had also alleged that Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhvadia was involved in the offence with Bhatt. He said that Modhvadia had pressurised Pant by calling him up when he was in the advocate's office.
Raju said that the hobnobbing of Bhatt with opposition party—Congress clearly showed his intentions and based on this, Bhatt filed an affidavit with false contents in the apex court with the purpose to arraign Modi in an offence under section 302 (murder) of Indian Penal Code (IPC). PTI