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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Probe Modi, suspended IAS officer tells SC

PTI  New Delhi, November 23, 2013
First Published: 18:05 IST(23/11/2013) | Last Updated: 01:01 IST(24/11/2013)

Suspended Gujarat IAS officer Pradeep Sharma on Saturday demanded a CBI probe against state chief minister Narendra Modi and his aide and BJP general secretary Amit Shah for the alleged snooping on a woman architect.

In an application filed in the Supreme Court, Sharma requested the court to take cognisance of audio tapes aired by news portals on November 15 claiming these contained proof of how the Gujarat government had tried to frame him in "frivolous" cases. He also demanded that all cases against him be transferred to “an independent agency like CBI” beyond Modi’s control.

The application said that the transcripts of taped conversations between then minister of state for home Shah and IPS officer GL Singhal of the Gujarat anti-terror squad revealed that the architect and Sharma were placed under surveillance at the behest of a person referred to as “Saheb” by Shah, adding that “Saheb” was none other than Modi.

Sharma later told CNN-IBN that he believed that he was arrested because Modi feared that he had some information about Modi's alleged relationship with the woman architect.

"Sometime in the year 2008, I had got an anonymous letter forwarding a link. The link led to an obscene clipping involving the architect which I was shocked and surprised to see. Not realising that my phones were bring tapped, I had spoken about it over the phone," Sharma told the channel.

"I told it to 2-3 friends saying ki bhai, there is this clipping...an obscene clipping of the architect and probably the CM thought it involved him too," he said.

READ: Modi harassing me because I know his secrets: IAS officer
READ: Battling Cong barbs, BJP plans offensive
READ: Snooping row: NCW to send notice to Gujarat; girl's father seeks privacy

The BJP dismissed the allegations, calling the charges politically motivated in an election year. "What is Pradeep Sharma's status to comment on this? Matters of criminal offence cannot be dealt like this," said the party's legal cell convenor, Pinky Anand.

Sharma had levelled similar allegations in his 2011 petition but the court had asked him to withdraw those of a personal nature against Modi.

Sharma, a 1984 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer is facing several criminal cases, including one in connection with alleged irregularities in the allotment of land to private firms in Kutch in 2008. He last served as Bhavnagar Municipal Commissioner. In 2011, he moved the SC demanding a CBI probe into all cases against him.

In 2010, he was suspended by the Gujarat government and then arrested on corruption charges. He was granted bail in 2011.

READ: Snooping scandal of Gujarat reaches SC
READ: Amit Shah accused of snooping on woman in 2009
READ: Snooping row intensifies, young woman's father seeks privacy


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