AHMEDABAD: In a relief to suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, the Gujarat High court today quashed a complaint filed against him for furnishing false information with the intention of evading summons in connection with a case pertaining to illegal confinement of a police constable.
The court also set aside all the proceedings initiated against Bhatt by the magistrate calling it an "abuse of law".
The complaint was lodged last year before a magistrate by ACP N C Patel who is investigating the case against Bhatt in which he was arrested for allegedly threatening and wrongfully confining constable K D Pant and making him sign a false affidavit. Bhatt was later released on bail.
Bhatt had moved the high court last year seeking setting aside of the complaint based on which the magistrate had initiated proceedings against him.
Today, Justice M R Shah, while quashing the complaint against Bhatt, said section 172 (absconding to avoid service of summons) and 177 (furnishing false information) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were not applicable in this case.
The high court further said Bhatt had sought adjournment of the summons and was not avoiding service of summons, which was evident, as he has received all summonses issued to him.
Even if he (Bhatt) had furnished false information, it was not related to the case for which he was summoned, the court said, adding section 177 of IPC does not apply in this case.
According to case details, Patel had, in his complaint, alleged Bhatt was issued summons to remain present on September 30, 2011, but he did not do so and wrote a letter saying he was to appear before Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 riots case.
Patel had said further probe by him revealed that Bhatt neither appeared before Nanavati panel nor did he have any hearing before it.
Based on this, Patel filed a complaint against Bhatt under sections 172 (absconding to avoid service of summons) and 177 (furnishing false information) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), in the court last year.
Bhatt was then summoned for questioning in the case in which he has been accused of having threatened, wrongfully confined and restrained the constable and made him sign a false affidavit in connection with Bhatt's presence at the February 27, 2002, meeting called by Chief Minister Narendra Modi after the Godhra train burning incident in February 2002.
Bhatt, who had alleged complicity of Modi in post-Godhra riots, was granted bail by a local court here on October 17 last year.