Suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma arrested over corruption charges
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Gujarat police arrested suspended Indian Administrative Service officer Pradeep Sharma early on Tuesday from his Ahmedabad residence over corruption charges against him.
Sharma’s arrest comes after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached his properties in Gandhinagar on Monday.
A piece of land in Dehgam village near Gandhinagar and a portion of Sharma’s bungalow in the state capital have been seized by the ED under prevention of money laundering act.
Sharma has been accused of causing a loss of Rs. 1.2 crore to the state exchequer by allotting government land to a Kutch-based industrial unit Welspun at throw away price during his tenure as the Kutch collector in 2003-04.
The ED is now probing whether Sharma’s US-based wife received any undue favours from Welspun in lieu of cheap land Sharma he gave to the industrial group for its factory in Kutch.
The ACB has found that the market price of the land allotted to Welspun was Rs. 60-70 per sq metre but Sharma charged only Rs. 15-18 per sq metre, causing a loss of approximately Rs. 1.2 crore.
The suspended bureaucrat’s name had also figured in the Snoopgate tapes released by a website in the run up to the Lok Sabha elections.
Sharma had recently moved court to file an FIR against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah for allegedly snooping on him and a woman architect.
Last month, the Supreme Court had rejected Sharma’s plea seeking CBI probe in five cases the Gujarat government had filed against him after his arrest in 2010.