Bhaskar specialises in actions against the police and state authorities and has a passion for holding public bodies to account. He regularly advises on a range of private law civil claims against the police and other public authorities including claims for false imprisonment, assault and battery by state agents, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office, as well as for breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998. He also regularly assists with public law claims, police complaints and appeals to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. He has experience of working on inquests and public inquiries.
Before joining GT Stewart Bhaskar qualified at Hodge Jones and Allen in 2016, where he undertook a range of contentious public and administrative law work. He also worked for a year post qualification as criminal defence lawyer, and consequently brings an in-depth knowledge of the criminal justice system to his current practice advising on claims against the police.
Prior to qualification as a solicitor, Bhaskar has worked in civil litigation as a caseworker since 2010 and brings eight years of fee earning experience to the table. Bhaskar also volunteered with the national human rights organisation LIBERTY (National Council of Civil Liberties) and worked as a researcher for the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, an international non-governmental organisation that tracks the human rights impacts of multinational corporations worldwide.
Education and Qualifications
- 2007 – Undergraduate Degree in Philosophy from Washington and Lee University, USA.
- 2009 – Bachelor of Laws (Queen Mary, University of London)
- 2012 – Legal Practice Course (BPP University College)
- 2016 – Qualified solicitor
SB v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (2018) – acted for a fifteen year old young boy of Asian descent who was accused of smoking cannabis on a public road. Though no cannabis was found on his person, he was arrested and subjected to an unlawful strip search. Proceedings were brought against the Metropolitan Police alleging false imprisonment, assault, unlawful strip search of a minor and malicious prosecution. The police settled for £21,000 in Dec 2018
HK v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis – We acted for a young black man of good character in a claim against the Metropolitan Police, who was stopped in his car after being mistaken for another person who discarded a knife, the only similarity between the two being their ethnicity. He was not believed when he put forward his account of where he had been that day and he was put in handcuffs in a public highway despite being cooperative throughout his encounter with the police. He was detained in cells. We sent a letter of claim to the Metropolitan Police alleging discriminatory treatment as a result of his ethnicity and false imprisonment on the basis that his arrest was unnecessary. The police settled for £3,000 in May 2021
Inquest touching the death of JOR – acted for the family in a eleven day inquest with jury into the death of a young man who sadly died from a self-inflicted ligature wound at HMP Belmarsh in January 2021. Despite having a long and well documented history of self-harm and suicide attempts on his prison health records, and a rapid deterioration in his mental health resulting him in self isolating for weeks, poor information sharing between prison healthcare and prison staff meant he was assessed as being of no risk of suicide, the words ‘no history of self harm’ put on his record and he was not put on suicide watch as he had been in all previous times in remand. As it was an Article 2 inquest, the jury were allowed to comment on failings and identified numerous failings by both the prison and healthcare staff. The Coroner made numerous recommendations to the prison and healthcare in relation to information sharing and the policy for self-isolators was amended following this inquest. A civil claim is being pursued.
Inquest touching the death of AM– acted for the family of an elderly gentleman suffering from dementia and epilepsy who was allowed to escape from a state run care home, in a two day inquest in January 2021. He was sadly found dead days later by a member of the public. The inquest explored staffing levels, the frequency of checks and the adequacy of the missing persons search. The coroner’s ruling highlighted the fact that the care home had allowed him to escape through an unsecured unmonitored door and a civil claim is being pursued against the care home.