Ahmedabad: A local court on Friday directed probe in a criminal defamation suit filed by suspended Gujarat IAS officer Pradeep Sharma against columnist-activist Madhu Kishwar in connection with the 2009 snooping scandal.
Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (ACJM) HG Pandya ordered investigation into the criminal defamation suit filed by Sharma under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Sharma`s statements were recorded today and the court has scheduled the next hearing in the case for March 6.
Earlier this month, the court had held that it had the jurisdiction for hearing the criminal defamation suit filed by him against Kishwar.
Sharma has alleged that Kishwar dragged his name in the scandal and tried to tarnish his image through comments on micro-blogging site Twitter and also on TV channels.
In her tweets and debates, Kishwar accused the senior bureaucrat of harassing the woman due to which her father asked for police protection. The suit filed in November last year has sought initiation of criminal proceedings against her.
Sharma has alleged that Kishwar had made derogatory comments against him on the issue of alleged surveillance of a woman architect on orders of then Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, a key aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Two investigative news portals, Cobrapost.Com and Gulail.Com have claimed on the basis of taped conversation, that Shah had ordered the illegal surveillance at the behest of one "Saheb" in 2009.
Sharma is facing six criminal cases in Gujarat. The 1984-batch IAS officer has claimed he was being victimised by the BJP government in Gujarat for his knowledge of the "intimacy" shared by Modi with the architect.
Gujarat government appointed a two-member commission on November 26 to enquire into the snooping scandal.
The Centre on December 26 also constituted a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the snooping on a woman in Gujarat allegedly at the behest of Modi.
The Union Cabinet had also decided to constitute the inquiry into the incidents of physical/electronic surveillance in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi allegedly without authorisation.