The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Gujarat government to respond to allegations that former police officer Sanjiv Bhatt was being prevented from approaching the top court in a 22-year-old case. The former Indian Police Service officer’s wife made the claim in the court, NDTV reported.

“It is a serious allegation if true,” the court said. “Usually the accused come to court. But in this case, the wife has come to the court. If a citizen is making a serious allegation, the state must give its response.”

The Gujarat government, represented by former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi, told the court that it would file its response by Friday. The matter will be heard again on October 4, IANS reported.

The Crime Investigation Department of the Gujarat Police arrested Bhatt on September 5 for allegedly planting drugs on a lawyer who was held from Palanpur in Banaskantha district in 1996. Bhatt, who was the district superintendent of police at the time, and seven others – including former policemen attached with the Banaskantha Police – were then questioned.

Bhatt is a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has claimed to have been at a meeting held in the aftermath of the 2002 Godhra incident where Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat at the time, allegedly said Hindus should be allowed to vent their anger.