1 October 2014
Former IAS officer Pradeep Sharma was arrested yesterday by anti-corruption bureau for giving undue favours to a textile company Welspun. It was alleged that he allotted government land to this company at 25% of the market value thereby causing a loss of $195 million to the state. In return for his favour he received a bribe of $47,000 and his wife became a 30% partner in one of its allied units Value Packaging without any investment on her part. He did this when he was a district collector in 2004.
The Enforcement Directorate seized a piece of land belonging to Sharma in Dehgam village near Gandhinagar and a portion of his bungalow in the state capital under prevention of money laundering act. He was booked under Sections 11 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Sharma faces 5 counts of corruption charges. He had earlier filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking a CBI enquiry and transfer of his case outside Gujarat. He alleged that he was being victimised by the then Modi Government for his involvement in exposing ‘snoopgate’ tapes released by two news portals last year. The tapes were about the surveillance of a female architect. The Supreme Court rejected his petition last month.