Suspended IAS officer Sharma gets interim protection from arrest

Ahmedabad :A city sessions court here today directed Gujarat Anti Corruption Bureau not to arrest suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma, facing a disproporationate assets case, till Tuesday.

Suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma
Suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma
Sharma has filed a pre-arrest bail application, fearing that he may be arrested on the charges of having assets disproportionate to known sources of his income.

Additional Sessions Judge H J Joshi restrained the police from arresting Sharma till July 14, the next date of hearing.

Sharma, who had been arrested by ACB in two other cases in the past, moved the court yesterday. He contends that ACB has initiated a fresh ‘open inquiry’ against him regarding his assets and it had called him twice for questioning recently.

“Since the petitioner has animosity with…Political leaders, therefore, the petitioner will be arrested in connection with the present open inquiry,” the plea says. But it does not name any political leader.

Sharma had been arrested in 2010 in a scam related to land allotment for rehabilitation of earthquake-affected people in Bhuj where he was posted as Collector in 2001.

Last year, Sharma was again arrested by ACB for allegedly accepting bribe/undue benefit of Rs 29 lakh from private firm Welspun. He is out on bail in both the cases.

Both Pradeep Sharma and his brother and IPS officer Kuldeep Sharma (now retired) had crossed swords with the state government when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister.

Pradeep Sharma had filed a petition in the Supreme Court alleging that he was being victimised by Modi government and sought a CBI inquiry in the cases against him. However,the apex court rejected his petition last September.