Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Tuesday refused to stay proceedings against suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a 1990 police atrocity case and directed the state government to file its reply on his condonation petition by March 6.

The notice was issued by Justice Anant S Dave while hearing the petition moved by Bhatt challenging a Jamnagar district court's order rejecting his plea for pardon for delay in filing revision petition in the two-decade old case.

The court asked the state government to file their reply on Bhatt's petition by March 6 when the matter is scheduled for next hearing.

As per the case details, one Prahbudas Vaishnani, who was arrested during a communal flare-up in Jamkhambhalia town in Jamnagar in 1990, died in a hospital few days after he was released from police custody.

Following this Vaishnani's brother Amrutlal filed complaint against Bhatt and six others.

A district court of Jamnagar had last week rejected Bhatt's application for condonation of delay which paved the way for framing of charges against him in the case.

Bhatt had filed the condonation of delay plea along with a revision petition in July last after the state government withdrew its review petition in the case.

 Bhatt on Tuesday approached the high court through his lawyer I H Sayed seeking that the lower court order be set aside.

Sayed, citing Supreme Court judgements contended that Bhatt's condonation application was maintainable and hence the lower court order should be quashed.

The court however refused to stay the ongoing proceedings against Bhatt in the Jamnagar court.
After the complaint was filed against Bhatt and six others, the Gujarat government had taken the position that Bhatt and others had acted with discharge of duty and filed a revision petition in the session court in 1996 halting the criminal proceedings.

This revision petition was withdrawn by the state government in July last thereby exposing Bhatt and others to prosecution.

Meanwhile, in a related development the Jamnagar court on Monday adjourned the proceedings till March 5 after hearing submissions on the discharge applications of six other accused in the case.

Bhatt has not filed discharge application till date.