Suspended Gujarat IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt gets a reprieve from legal tangles on Friday after the Supreme Court issued a stay on all the proceedings by the state government against him in connection to the Gujarat 2002 riots case.
Bhatt was charged on account of forcing his car driver to make a false statement before Special Investigating Team (SIT) to implicate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in 2002 riot cases.
Constable KD Pant earlier said that he drove Bhatt to the Chief Minister's house on February 27, 2002. However, he later rebuffed saying he was persuaded by Bhatt to tell so.
Bhatt was sent to jail last year following constable Pant's retreat on his statement. Bhatt was imprisoned for 18 days before he was granted bail. Since then he secured the tag of "top-cop" among the other Modi detractors, who believe the Gujart Chief Minister is complicit of riots.
Bhatt moved the apex court seeking to stop proceeding against him arguing that the charges were fabricated and motivated by political agenda. He also pleaded the Supreme Court to commission an independent agency to probe into the allegations.
The Supreme Court will hear Bhatt's case on July 15.
Bhatt alleged that Chief Minister Narendra Modi asked the higher authorities to turn a blind eye towards the rioting Hindus in 2002.
The infamous Gujarat riots broke after a train burning incident in Godhra railway station. About 58 pilgrims in the S6 compartment of the Sabarmati Express were killed as the compartment was set ablaze by miscreants.
This was touted as a pre-conceived conspiracy and led to stirring up of violence between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat.
After the news of the Godhra train carnage broke out, thousands of people were killed and several places of worship and public properties were damaged by unruly mobs. The nature of this violence still remains politically controversial.