Bhatti's car collided with a tree along the highway while he was on his way to Jalandhar for the promotion of his latest film "Power Cut". Police said that the accident happened around 3 a.m. while Bhatti was on his way to Jalandhar from Bathinda.
Bhatti, 57, was rushed to a hospital in Jalandhar after the accident where doctors declared him dead.
His son, Jasraj, was also injured in the accident along with the film's heroine Surili Gautam and another person. They were being treated in a hospital in Jalandhar, 150 km from state capital Chandigarh.
Bhatti's latest film "Power Cut", which he had produced and directed, was to be released Friday. The film was to launch his son, Jasraj.
His simple smile and disarming warmth struck an instant chord, spreading good cheer. On Thursday, as his body lay covered with a sheet in a Jalandhar hospital, there was gloom all around.
This was the day he was to end his over 40-day promotional tour of his latest film "Power Cut" in Punjab's cultural capital Jalandhar. The film, which sees the launch of his son Jasraj, is to be released Friday.
An electrical engineer by profession, Bhatti, perhaps the most famous Sikh comedian, had humour and satire in his blood.
It was during his days at Chandigarh's prestigious Punjab Engineering College (PEC), also the alma mater of astronaut Kalpana Chawla, that he launched his Nonsense Club in the early 1980s to poke fun at social evils and issues. There was no stopping Jaspal Bhatti from then on.
Though he joined the Punjab government as an engineer, Bhatti's heart and soul lay in comedy and satire. Starting as a cartoonist with English daily The Tribune in the late 1980s, Bhatti later came up with the popular "Ulta-Pulta" on national channel Doordarshan.
Within no time, Bhatti's satire on social issues became a national hit. He followed it up with another hit TV show, "Flop Show".
Bhatti was the most visible and popular Sikh of his times, a well loved figure not just in Punjab but in other parts of the country as well. Though he was Chandigarh based, he was a frequent traveller to Mumbai and Delhi for films, TV appearances and shows.
He produced and directed the popular Punjabi film "Mahaul Theek Hai", a satire on the Punjab police, administration and society, in 1999.
He acted in several Bollywood films. His role as Jolly Good Singh in the Aamir Khan-Kajol starrer "Fanaa" was a particular favourite. He participated in TV shows as a celebrity contestant and a judge.
Married to Savita Bhatti, who acted with him in TV shows and Punjabi films, Bhatti had set up his MAD Arts and film school at Mohali, near Chandigarh, three years ago. His son Jasraj was also involved with him in the venture and film production.
It was at his film school that Bhatti set up a 'factory of foundation stones' in November last year, given the number of foundation stones that were being laid by politicians in the run-up to Punjab's assembly elections held January this year.
The seriousness of his comedy could be gauged from the fact that the Election Commission of India last year engaged him as their brand ambassador for their awareness campaign.
"I pick up things from simple things in life of everyone. The spoofs on social and corruption issues are liked by people a lot since they can relate to these," Bhatti told earlier this year.
Be it getting on horse-back in a three-piece suit and with a briefcase to protest against the fuel price hike, selling Diwali gifts for politicians and bureaucrats, wearing garlands of pricey vegetables, carrying the idol of 'corruption devta (god)' to anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare or playing cricket with his Nonsense Club members on the dry bed of Chandigarh's famous Sukhna Lake - Bhatti did what he liked best and kept people entertained.
"He used to instantly think of ideas and would put up a satire show at a public place within hours. People liked the way he highlighted the issues. We are all shocked and stunned that he is no more," Vinod Sharma, Bhatti's close associate for over 25 years and theatre actor, told.
His spoofs, satire and comedy kept us entertained for years. Jaspal Bhatti, you will be missed.
Indian TV viewers, including eminent personalities from different walks of life, mourned the death of actor and political satirist.
Social activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal remarked: "Jaspal Bhatti was an imp [important] part of anti-corruption struggle. We will all miss him. Also a great loss to the movement. His commitment to anti-corruption movement was amazing. We were together in one tour. He stayed and lived wid us in quite hostile conditions."
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "Jaspal Bhatti's demise is unfortunate. He filled our lives with much needed humour. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace."
Bollywood actor Anupam Kher tweeted: "Just Landed in Mumbai and came to know about my friend Jaspal Bhatti's tragic death. Why is God taking away all d nicest people. So SAD.I used to tell Jaspal Bhatti that he does fantastic comedy so seriously. He was also a great supporter of anti corruption campaign. RIP."
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said: "To make people laugh is an art & Jaspal Bhatti mastered it. RIP Bhatti ji, may god give strength to your family."
Bengali actress Swastika Mukherjee remarked: "Part of childhood passes away, FlopShow in DD still so fresh in mind, last week it ws death of romance, ths week laughter, gdbye JaspalBhatti."
Singer Shreya Ghoshal said: "R.I.P. Jaspal Bhatti. :(:("
Actress Sophie Choudry tweeted: "Just drove past the Jaspal Bhatti acting school in Chandigarh. Log chale jaatein hain. Their legacy remains. Tku 4 the laughs! RIP Jaspalji"
Actress Neha Dhupia said: "Thank you for all the laughs sir ... RIP Jaspal Bhatti Ji."
Actor Riteish Deshmukh remarked: "RIP JASPAL BHATTI- one of the first ppl to entertain audience with his political satires. Condolences to the family- a big n untimely loss."
Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar tweeted: "Saddened to know about the death of the great comedian, Jaspal Bhatti. I have fond memories of his super hit show, Flop Show, providing the much needed humour in our lives. May his soul rest in peace."