Mumbai: Suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma, who took on Narendra Modi over the snoopgate scandal when he was Gujarat Chief Minister, was today arrested in a corruption case, a day after Enforcement Directorate attached his properties for alleged money laundering.
“Sharma has been arrested by us today morning under the Prevention of Corruption Act. As per the complaint registered by us yesterday, Sharma allegedly received Rs 29 lakh from private firm 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.
“This is a case of allegedly taking bribe for extending benefits to a company when he was Collector of Kutch,” Bhatia said.
Sharma has been booked under Prevention of Corruption Act sections 11 (public servant obtaining valuable gift from person concerned in proceedings or business transacted by such public servant), 13(1)(D) (to obtain valuable things by corrupt or illegal means) and 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servant).
The case pertains to 2004, when Sharma was the Collector of Kutch.
Sharma, at loggerheads with the erstwhile Modi government, had sought a CBI probe into alleged snooping on a woman architect after two news portals released CDs of purported telephonic conversations between the Chief Minister’s close aide Amit Shah, who was then Minister of State for Home, and two top state police officials.
The conversations, purportedly between August and September 2009, did not specifically mention Modi by name but referred to a ‘saheb’, which the portals claimed was the Gujarat Chief Minister at whose instance snooping was done, a charge denied by Shah, who in now the BJP president.