Monday, February 14, 2011

Pradip Sharma arrested in Delhi,He Failed To Respond To Court Summons

Ahmedabad: Former Kutch district collector, Pradip Sharma, was arrested on Monday afternoon in Delhi by a team of CID (Crime) officials from Gujarat. 
   “Sharma was arrested because he failed to appear for court hearings and did not respond to summons issued by a sessions court in Bhuj,” said CID officials. “Working on a tip-off, we tracked him down in Delhi at 1 pm. He was arrested by a team of CID (Crime) from Rajkot division,” the officials added.
   The suspended IAS officer will be first brought to CID’s head quarter in Gandhinagar. “His statement will be recorded and then he will be taken to Bhuj,” said CID officials.
   This is the second time that Sharma has been arrested. In January 2010 Sharma was arrested by CID (crime) in connection with a land scam in which, Sharma, as the Kutch district collector, had allegedly allotted land to affluent businessmen. The plots were meant to be allotted to traders affected by earthquake. Sharma was behind bars for nine months before being granted bail.
There is ambiguity on the case for which Sharma has been arrested this time. “He is wanted in two other cases, apart from the land scam. He is likely to be formally arrested in one of these cases,” said a senior official of CID.
   Three FIRs have been lodged against Sharma by the state government. One of the criminal complaints lodged by CID (crime) with its Rajkot division has charged the suspended IAS officer of going beyond his authority to grant more land to a company for establishing an industrial unit in Kutch.
   This offence was in connection with allotting land at half its market value to Welspun in Varshamedi village in Anjar taluka. CID (crime) has accused Sharma of benefiting the company by providing it 80,000 square metre of land through four different orders, even though a collector was authorised to provide only 20,000 square metre plot to any company under the particular scheme. The police have charged him of causing monetary loss to the state exchequer by charging Welspun only Rs 12 lakh for the land, valued at Rs 24 lakh by the authority.
   Prevention of Corruption Act has also been lodged against him for misuse of office by using mobile phone SIM cards, for which Welspun had footed the bill of Rs 46,000.

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