SC notice to Gujarat Chief Minister on IAS officer`s plea
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 20:20
New Delhi: In fresh pinpricks for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked him to respond to allegations by a senior state IAS officer that several criminal cases have been foisted against him at his behest.

Pradeep N Sharma, the 1984 batch IAS officer, has sought handing over of the probe of four cases against him to the CBI and shifting the trial outside Gujarat. He was arrested and is in judicial custody.

A Bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha issued notice to the Chief Minister and Gujarat Government asking them to respond within four weeks to series of allegations including that the IAS officer has been victim of politics as he was not following the illegal instructions.

The Bench has also sought response from the Centre and the CBI on Sharma's plea that cases against him could be covered for investigation by independent agency and not by any agencies of the state government.

The bench, which decided to entertain Sharma's petition, however took strong exception to the submissions aimed at tarnishing the image of Modi by linking him to a woman.

The IAS officer accepted the suggestion of the bench to delete those paragraphs from the petition which spoke about his personal life and alleged illicit relationship.

He decided to obey the suggestion of the Bench after it asked "are you sticking to the statements".

The IAS officer is facing four criminal cases including his alleged involvement in land scam registered against him since 2008 in Rajkot area.

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

"CBI investigation would squarely apply to the facts and circumstances of the present case, which are a stark depiction of the political victimisation 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 as his brother had given 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 that the plea is not for quashing of the cases but for free and fair probe by CBI.


First Published: Thursday, May 12, 2011, 20:20

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