Ahmedabad, Mar 13 (PTI) Suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma today approached the Gujarat High Court, seeking quashing of a 10-year-old bribery case against him, days after his arrest in the case.
Justice J B Pardiwala issued a notice to the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB). The matter will come up for hearing next week.
Sharma’s petition said the FIR was filed in 2018 for an offence which allegedly took place in 2007-08. The ACB has relied on the statements of only two witnesses who were not made accused themselves, it added.
Further, the FIR was registered the day he was released on bail in a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act that he is facing, which showed the “ill intention” of the ACB, he said.
Last Thursday, the high court granted him bail in a money laundering case, being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). He was arrested soon after he walked out of the Sabarmati Jail where he was lodged for nearly a year and a half.
As per the ACB’s FIR, Sharma accepted Rs 25 lakh from a contractor when he held an additional charge as the managing director of the state-owned ship-building company, Alcock Ashdown (Guj) Ltd, located in Bhavnagar.
According to the ACB, during the ED probe, Sahayraj Savrimatthu told ED officials that the suspended IAS officer took a bribe of Rs 25 lakh from him to clear pending bills when Sharma was the MD of Alcock Ashdown between 2007 and 2008.
Sharma was the collector of Bhavnagar during the period.
Earlier, the ED registered a case against Sharma for allegedly allotting government land at a low rate to a private company in Kutch district in 2004 for a quid pro quo.
Sharma had claimed that he was being victimised by the BJP government in Gujarat for his knowledge of illegal surveillance of a woman by government agencies.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.