IAS officer Pradeep Sharma sent to five-day police custody

Suspended Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Pradeep Sharma was on Tuesday remanded in five days' police custody by a Bhuj court in connection with a corruption case.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 01, 2014, 00:57 AM IST

Bhuj: Suspended Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Pradeep Sharma was on Tuesday remanded in five days' police custody by a Bhuj court in connection with a corruption case.
Additional district judge JB Dhadhal sent Sharma to police remand till October 4.

Sharma was produced before the Bhuj district court amidst tight security. More than 150 police personnel of the Kutch-west police, including the local crime branch officers and special operation group men, made up the security detail.

Public prosecutor K Goswami, while seeking the remand of five days, contended that Sharma had misused his powers as the Kutch collector and indulged in corruption, and his custodial interrogation was necessary.

Sharma was earlier today arrested by the state's Anti- Corruption Bureau under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the charge of receiving a bribe of Rs 29 lakh from Welspun.

"Sharma allegedly received Rs 29 lakh from Welspun. The amount was first deposited in the account of Sharma's wife, and then transferred to his account," ACB Director (in-charge) Ashish Bhatia said.

The case pertains to 2004, when Sharma was the collector of Kutch district.

As per the complaint, Sharma, an IAS officer of 1984 batch, allotted a land to Welspun at 25 per cent of the prevailing market rate, which resulted in a loss of around Rs 1.2 crore to the state exchequer.

In return, the company allegedly gave Sharma's wife 30 per cent share in one of its subsidiaries -- Value Packaging -- without her having made any investment and extended benefits of Rs 29.5 lakh to her.