SC notice to Gujarat Chief Minister on IAS officer`s plea

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.

PTI



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

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