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Supreme Court notice on IAS officer’s bail plea

The Supreme Court Thursday issued notice to the Gujarat government on a bail plea by a state cadre IAS officer jailed on allegations of giving land to private companies at a concessional rate in the wake of the 2001 earthquake.

In his capacity as then district collector, Pradeep Sharma, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was the chairman of the committee formed for the redevelopment and reconstruction in Bhuj.

The said land was given in 2004. Sharma was arrested Feb 14 this year.

An Supreme court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai issued notice after senior counsel Colin Gonsalves made the plea for bail.

Sharma in his petition said that he was the victim of “personal malafide” of Chief Minister Narendra Modi “who is keen to incarcerate the petitioner (Pradeep Sharma) herein for an indefinite period under the pretext of foisting one after the other frivolous and motivated criminal cases”.

Gonsalves told the court that a photocopy of a driving licence of Paramjit Singh had surfaced carrying the photograph of Pradeep Sharma to show that he was concealing his identity while he was staying in a Delhi in Karol Bagh when he was arrested Feb 14.

As Gonsalves pressed for the bail of Sharma, the court said that it would like to look at the copy of the driving licence having Sharmas photo.

Sharma moved the apex court challenging a high court order of Sep 30, dismissing his plea for bail. The petition said that the high court dismissed the bail plea in the most mechanical manner and without application of mind



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