SC dismisses whistleblower Sanjiv Bhatt’s plea, imposes Rs 10,000 costs for challenging HC order

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by former IPS officer and whistleblower Sanjiv Bhatt challenging a Gujarat High Court order which set a deadline for the trial in an alleged drug planting case in which he is an accused, Live Law reported.

The High Court has directed the trial to be competed by March 31, 2023.

“The parties in a criminal trial should be more interested in the expeditious disposal of the trial…..The grant of extension of time is a matter between the trial court and high court”, the apex court noted in the order.

Bhatt took exception to the High Court issuing a peremptory direction, despite the trial judge’s estimate that 6 months more time is required, the legal website reported.

Senior Advocate Devadatt Kamat, appearing for Bhatt, submitted that only 16 out of 60 witnesses have been examined.

Bhatt is being denied the right of a fair trial, he said to the top court.

Bhatt and his family have been accusing the BJP government of constantly targeting him for exposing Narendra Modi’s role in the 2002 Gujarat Muslim genocide.

The officer has been in jail since 2018 in a case of custodial death in Jamnagar that was registered in 1990.

In 2011, Bhatt had claimed that he had attended a meeting at Modi’s house where the then former chief minister had asked the administrative officials to be lenient with the Hindu rioters during 2002 Gujarat Muslim genocide.