IAS officer arrested in land scam sent to police custody
A local court at Bhuj today sent Senior IAS officer Pradeep Sharma arrested in connection with land allotment scam to police custody till January 11.india Updated: Jan 07, 2010 22:21 IST
A local court at Bhuj on Thursday sent Senior IAS officer Pradeep Sharma arrested in connection with land allotment scam to police custody till January 11.
Sharma, Municipal Commissioner of Bhavnagar, was district collector of Kutch between 2003 and 2006 when he allegedly allotted land meant for rehabilitation of the 2001 earthquake-affected people to certain businessmen.
While the CID Crime arrested him yesterday from his residence in Bhavnagar, three businessmen allegedly involved in the scam, namely, Arvind Thakker, Shambu Patel and Prabodh Kothari were arrested from Bhuj.
Chief Judicial Magistrate B L Jadav hearing the case sent Sharma and the three others to police custody after the investigating agency sought their remand for further interrogation.
The businessmen have been accused of forging documents to acquire the land.
Sharma's lawyer S V Raju said that his client has been falsely implicated in the case.
He submitted before the court that the government did allotment of the land in question and there was no forgery done by Sharma.
Raju further said that the agreement between state government and the merchant body to which the land was allotted clearly stated that if there was any breach in contract the land could be taken back, which was not done.
Sharma, who was Collector of Kutch at that time, has also been accused of turning a blind eye to this entire incident.
The case involved allotment of 17 acres land valued at over Rs 65 crore to 479 persons, who were earthquake victims.
However, subsequent investigation following a private complaint regarding allotment revealed that around 400 allotters were not entitled to get the land and they had submitted fake documents to show that they were earthquake victims.