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Sacked IPS Sanjiv Bhatt didn’t come with ‘clean hands’: SC

Sacked Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt was rebuked for his conduct of contacting opposition Congress party, NGOs and their activists to influence the Supreme Court which today said he has not come up with “clean hands” to question the lodging of criminal cases against him.

The apex court dismissed his petitions seeking a court -monitored SIT probe in relation to the two FIRs against him for allegedly forcing his subordinate to file an affidavit in a 2002 riots case and hacking e-mail of a senior law officer, who is now an Additional Solicitor General.

His allegation was dubbed as totally “false and baseless” that the apex court-appointed Special Investigating Team (SIT) to probe the 2002 Gujarat riots cases had been leaking very sensitive and confidential details.

The top court noted in its judgement the contents of the e-mail exchanged by Bhatt, who was a high ranking officer, with an activist of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) in which he has “mentioned to create a situation so as to make it difficult for a 3-Judge Bench of this Court to disregard shortcomings of SIT and exerting pressure by the groups and opinion makers in Delhi” in the case of Zakia Jafri seeking lodging of FIR against politicians and cops of Gujarat.

“It is apparent the petitioner had acted in deliberation and consultation with the leaders of rival political party, NGOs and had sent the e-mails to the effect that he was not fully exploited by a counsel of the rival political party while his statement was being recorded before Justice Nanavati Commission.

“He had exchanged e-mails with rival political party leaders and was being tutored by the lawyer of NGO and its activist… Petitioner has used the media card, has even sent the e-mails to influence the judicial proceedings of a 3-Judge Bench of this Court and has tried to influence the amicus curiae,” a bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra said.

The bench, which favoured investigation against the controversial IPS officer, took strong exception to Gujarat Police constable K D Panth being pressurised to sign an affidavit testifying that Bhatt had participated in a high-level meeting after the Godhra carnage.