Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: Three Gujarat IPS officers Atul Karwal, AK Suroliya, and Ashish Bhatia were discharged from a 1994 custodial torture case by a city sessions court on Friday. The court observed that the metropolitan court had started an inquiry in the case and summoned the officers without seeking necessary sanctions from the Gujarat government for the same and thus rejected the complaint filed against the officers.

In 1994, three Gujarat IPS officers DC Zone-5 Atul Karwal, DCP Crime Branch AK Suroliya, and DCP Zone-2 Ashish Bhatia had brought out Salim Khan Pathan, a bootlegger lodged at the Sabarmati Central Prison on a transfer warrant and had allegedly tortured him during his interrogation to make him confess to a crime. Pathan’s wife Nazma Bano had filed a complaint of custodial torture against the three IPS officers and accused them of causing permanent disability to him after her plea in the Gujarat High Court regarding the same was heard.

The HC ordered the metropolitan court to start an inquiry in the case and take necessary legal actions. The court subsequently started an inquiry against the cops and began legal proceedings. The IPS officers filed a petition in the Ahmedabad Sessions Court claiming that the metropolitan court started an inquiry and legal proceedings against them without the state administration’s permission.

The IPS officers had argued that the metropolitan court should have taken the state’s sanction under CrPc 197 before starting any legal proceedings against them. The sessions court accepted the plea and discharged the three IPS officers of the charges against them.