KOCHI: The family of Sanjiv Bhatt, the Gujarat cadre IPS officer who was sentenced to life imprisonment in a custodial torture case, is mulling the possibility of approaching a high court outside Gujarat to file an appeal challenging the lower court verdict. Speaking to this newspaper over phone, Shewta Bhatt, wife of Mr. Bhatt, said "this is an idea we are contemplating. A final decision will be taken after consultation with our legal counsel", she said.
Mrs. Bhatt, who will visit Kozhikode on Friday to attend a function, said she is determined to prove the innocence of her husband in what she described as a "totally fabricated case". "The support received by my family from across the country and other parts of the world fills me with courage and determination to pursue the case in higher courts. Every day I am getting calls and letters from people from all walks of life", she said.
The support from Kerala has been overwhelming and exceptional, Mrs. Bhatt said. "I have received a call the other day from a person in Kerala identifying himself as a shopkeeper. He said that he only has Rs 50 to contribute to the fund for fighting the case.
"I am fortunate to receive such touching gestures from totally strange persons and I am sure that responses from such ordinary persons would provide my husband an added confidence and courage to fight the false charges against him", she said.
Mrs. Bhatt said she and her family have full faith in the judiciary and are confident that the higher court will rectify the unfortunate miscarriage of justice by lower court. "Everyone knows that the case was fabricated and would not withstand judicial scrutiny at the higher levels", she said.
Mr. Bhatt, alumni of Bombay IIT and 1990 batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre, was sentenced to 30-year life imprisonment by the Jamnagar sessions court few weeks ago in a case connected with an alleged custodial death case.
Mr. Bhatt was having a running battle against Prime Minister Narendra Modi ever since he went on record stating the complicity of Mr. Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat in the post-Godhra riots in 2002.