Born at Lyallpur district in India on 25October 1935 and educated at A S College, Khanna, in the state of Punjab. Between 1952 and 1956 he studied for and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree of Punjab University.
On leaving college in 1956 at the age of 21 years, he commenced work as a Branch Manager for an Air Travel Office.
Councillor Bhatti came to England in 1959. He later returned to India for three years to work as a manager of a Transport Company in Calcutta.
Married Bhupinder Kler at Wolverhampton on 24 July 1961. They had three children , Paul, Deepa and Roopa and two grandsons Tamir and Kahil.
In 1970, Councillor Bhatti acquired a BSc (Economics) Hons Degree of the London University as an external student at Trent Polytechnic and in 1971/72 he was trained to be a lecturer in further education at Wolverhampton Technical Teachers’ College, after which he taught in Derby. He returned to Leicester in 1977 when he was retrained to be a teacher of Mathematics at Leicester University. He also obtained a BA (Maths) Degree through the Open University and,
in 1979, obtained a teaching post at the Henry Gotch Comprehensive Secondary School at Kettering, Northamptonshire.
Councillor Bhatti was elected to the City Council as a Labour Party representative for the Rushey Mead Ward in May 1983 and served on all of the Council’s major Committees. Among the positions he held were the Chairs of the Policy and Resources (General Purposes) Sub-Committee and the Property Services Committee.
His personal interests included reading, swimming and the theatre.
He was appointed Deputy Lord Mayor of the City on 18 May 1995 for the year 1995/96.
Councillor Bhatti was elected to the office of Lord Mayor of the City on 16 May 1996.
He chose his wife Bhupinder as his Lady Mayoress. Mrs Bhatti came to the United Kingdom from India in 1961 in order to marry her husband. She came from a prestigious Army family and had four brothers all retired Indian Army Officers, two of whom held the rank of Lieutenant General and Major General respectively. Three nephews also held senior positions in the Indian Army and Air Force. The Lady Mayoress was particularly interested in women’s issues and was actively involved in helping young Asian women in times of need.
Councillor Bhatti’s Year of Office was marked by the visit to the City of a number of members of the Royal Family. On 15 July 1996, the Lord Mayor was presented to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh when he came to open and give his name to Prince Philip House, The St Matthews Community Health and Social Care Centre on Malabar Road. His Royal Highness also visited the new Leicester YMCA Aylestone centre, a unit with five new houses for young homeless people situated on Belvoir Drive and the new southern Fire Station at the Meridian Business Park.
The Lord Mayor was presented to Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal on 14 March 1997 when she formally opened both the new Radiology Department at the Leicester General Hospital and the Hamilton Police Station. On 2 April 1997, he met Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Gloucester when she opened the Bennion Centre and Bradgate Unit at Glenfield General Hospital. Her Royal Highness also opened the Royal Leicestershire, Rutland and Wycliffe Society for the Blind’s Welcome Home Residential Project at Simmins Crescent.
During his Year of Office, Councillor Bhatti took part in the celebration to acknowledge an unprecedented year of success for Leicester’s sporting world. On 27 May 1996, he was the guest of Leicester City Football Club at the First Division Play Off Final at Wembley. The 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace marked Leicester City’s return to the Premier League. The following day the Lord Mayor hosted a Civic Reception, at the Town Hall, for the players and officials in recognition of their success.
The Leicestershire County Cricket Club was successful in winning the County Championship, for the second time in their history, in the 1996 season and Councillor Bhatti hosted a Civic Reception for the club, at the Town Hall on 24 September 1996. To complete a unique treble, the Leicester Tigers Rugby Football Club won the Pilkington Cup Final, at Twickenham, on 10 May 1997 where they defeated Sale 9-3. The Lord Mayor was present to witness the victory and then received the players and officials at the Town Hall, for a balcony appearance, prior to a reception at the City Rooms.
The City’s twinning links were strengthened with Councillor Bhatti’s visit to the twin city of Rajkot in India, during December 1996, to witness and ratify the signing of the twinning document between Rajkot and Leicester. In addition he hosted a dinner and reception
in honour of a delegation from Chongqing, China and was host to both the Mayor of Rajkot and the Oberburgermeister of Krefeld upon their Civic Visits to Leicester.
Councillor Bhatti was privileged to be Lord Mayor of Leicester when the City acquired Unitary Status on 1 April 1997. He attended a ceremony, on the appointed day, where he was handed the original key to the Town Hall gates. The Lord Mayor duly opened the gates, with the restored key, to mark the historic occasion.
Military links were maintained and on 15 June 1996, Councillor Bhatti had the distinction of conferring the honour of the Freedom of Entry to the City of Leicester upon the Royal Anglian Regiment. The Lord Mayor took the salute as the Regiment exercised the honour conferred upon them by the Council of “marching through the streets of the City with Colours flying, bayonets fixed and band playing.”
A significant historical event took place on 13 October 1996 at the Cathedral when the Lord Mayor attended a service to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the Leicester Gild of Freemen.
For his chosen Charity, Councillor Bhatti inaugurated his ‘Education for Life’ Appeal to purchase and maintain a mobile classroom to focus upon educating young people
about healthy living and the dangers of drug abuse. The Appeal raised over £110,000 and was sufficient to purchase the mobile classroom.
Councillor Bhatti’s eventful and memorable Year of Office was concluded on 15 May 1997 whereupon he was appointed High Bailiff of the City for the year 1997/98.