The Gujarat High Court today rejected an application filed by former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt raising concern about the fairness of the trial court judge hearing the drug planting case filed against him. [Sanjiv Rajendrabhai Bhatt vs State of Gujarat]..Single-judge Justice Samir Dave also rejected a plea by Bhatt to transfer the trial.The judge further refused to stay the effect of the order or stay the trial proceedings for a month, despite a request by Bhatt's counsel."How can I stay the trial when there was never a stay? Sorry, no stay," the judge orally said.The application was filed challenging the trial court's decision to reject three applications earlier filed by Bhat with respect to the conduct of the trial proceedings in the case registered against him under the Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act).Among these applications were pleas to allow Bhatt videoconference access to trial court proceedings and to rectify certain remarks made by the trial court in an interim order. Bhatt claimed that these applications were rejected on the ground that they were dealt with while dismissing a plea to transfer the trial court proceedings. Against this backdrop, Bhatt expressed concerns about the fairness and impartiality of the trial judge. Bhatt contended that the trial judge has been accommodating "disingenuous devilments" by the prosecution and jeopardising the defence's case and Bhatt's rights in the NDPS case. As such, Bhatt urged the High Court to direct the trial court to hear his applications afresh. A plea to transfer the case to another court had also been filed. These pleas have been rejected today. A copy of the order is awaited. .The case arose from the arrest of a Rajasthan-based lawyer in 1996 by the Basankantha Police after drugs were seized from the advocate's hotel room in Palanpur, Rajasthan.Bhatt was the Superintendent of Police at Basankantha during the relevant time.However, later the Rajasthan Police claimed that Bhatt's team had lodged a false case and that the same was done only to harass the lawyer with regard to a property dispute.Bhatt was arrested in the case in September 2018 and has remained in jail since then.In February, this year, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea filed by him challenging a January 2023 Gujarat High Court order which extended the time to complete the trial till March 31, 2023. The Supreme Court had termed the plea to be 'frivolous' and imposed a fine of ₹10,000 on Bhatt..Bhatt is known for being a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi-led government. Prior to his dismissal from service, he had filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court alleging that the Modi-led Gujarat government had a complicit role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.He was dismissed from service by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in 2015 on grounds of unauthorised absence from service.Corrigendum: It was earlier reported that the High Court had dismissed an application to quash the FIR against Bhatt. The said prayer was not pressed and the order pronounced today addressed other prayers. The story has been revised to reflect this position. The error is regretted.