SC entertains IAS officer`s plea against Guj CM

The IAS officer is facing five criminal cases, including one for his alleged involvement in a land scam registered against him, since 2008.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday, decided to entertain a second petition filed by a senior Gujarat cadre IAS officer, seeking a CBI probe into the fresh criminal case registered by the state police against him, allegedly at the instance of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Gujarat Police had registered the fifth FIR against Pradeep N Sharma, the 1984 batch IAS officer, on May 12, the day the apex court had sought a response from Modi, on the allegations that several criminal cases have been foisted against the officer at his behest.

A bench comprising justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha tagged Sharma`s fresh petition with the first one on, which it had issued notices and sought a response from Modi and the Centre for transferring the probe of the cases to an independent agency.

The bench had also sought a response from CBI.

Sharma, who is in judicial custody, has alleged he has been a victim of politics as he was not following the "illegal" instructions of the Chief Minister and the state

When the bench had issued notices on May 12, it had, however, taken strong exception to the submissions by Sharma, which were allegedly aimed at tarnishing the image of Modi by linking him to a woman.

Sharma`s counsel Sunil Fernandes said, those paragraphs from the first petition, which spoke about his personal life and alleged illicit relationship have been deleted.

The IAS officer is facing five criminal cases, including one for his alleged involvement in a land scam registered against him, since 2008 in Rajkot area.

The fifth case registered on May 12 accused Sharma of criminal breach of trust, abetment of offence and corruptly referring to orders during judicial proceeding knowing them to be contrary to law.

Sharma said, he has become a victim as his elder brother Kuldip Sharma, a highly-decorated and currently the senior-most IPS officer in Gujarat cadre, has "unmasked" many "misdeeds" of Modi, since 2002 post-Godhra riots and also of
his close associate and former Home Minister Amit Shah, who is an accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter killing case.

"CBI investigation would squarely apply to the facts and circumstances of the present case, which are a stark depiction of the political victimization of an upright senior IAS officer at the hands of the head of a vindictive executive arm of the government," the petition said.

Further, he said Modi nursed a grudge against him as his brother had given a clean chit to danseuse Mallika Sarabhai in human trafficking case.

The petition said, Sharma is facing the wrath of the state administrative machinery at the behest of the Chief Minister, for refusing to carry out the "illegal" instructions
and for his "uncompromising integrity".

"The petitioner is falsely implicated in a number of criminal cases at the behest of the Chief Minister and his acolytes," it said, adding the plea is not for quashing of
the cases but for a free and fair probe by CBI.


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