SC to consider transferring snooping probe to CBI if Sharma deletes Modi allegations

Pradeep Sharma faces stiff opposition from the Gujarat government, which has filed a number of cases against him, including one for trying to flee the country with a false passport.

The Supreme Court has asked Pradeep Sharma to omit those paragraphs that contain 'scurrilous' allegations against Narendra Modi in the snooping injuction. The Supreme Court has asked Pradeep Sharma to omit those paragraphs that contain 'scurrilous' allegations against Narendra Modi in the snooping inquiry.
New Delhi | Published on:January 17, 2014 5:55 pm

The Supreme Court said on Friday that it will look into the plea for CBI probe into Gujarat’s snooping controversy only after verifying that suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma complied with its order to delete “scurrilous” allegations against Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Sharma, who has sought probe into the snoopgate, faced stiff opposition from the Gujarat government, which also slapped several other cases on him including one for attempting to flee the country on fake passport.

The apex court, which also refused Sharma’s plea to allow him to travel to the United States to meet his wife and son, who are American citizens, said his application for CBI probe into snoopgate can only be considered after examining that he has complied with its May 12, 2011 order.

Sharma, the 1984 batch IAS officer, who had sought handing over of the probe of criminal cases against him to the CBI and shifting the trial outside Gujarat, was directed by the apex court to file an amended petition by deleting the paragraphs having ‘scurrilous’ allegations against Modi.

Since the amended petition was not available during the hearing, a bench comprising justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Madan B Lokur said “there was a need to compare the orginal petition and the amended one”.

“Let us see whether you have first complied with our order or not. We want to go through the amended petition,” the bench said, adding there was a need to compare the petitions as Gujarat government and Modi’s close aide and senior BJP leader Amit Shah alleged that Sharma has retained the scurrilous allegations in the application for CBI probe.

“If that is so, we will compare the paragraphs. We have to see that the order has been followed. If the order has been complied with we will go into it, otherwise we will not entertain it,” the bench said while posting the plea on snoopgate after two weeks.

 Sharma’s counsel Prashant Bhushan contended that gist of the allegation against Modi was necessary in the application to show the alleged malafide by Gujarat government which has foisted false cases against the suspended IAS officer and his brother Kuldeep Sharma, a senior IPS officer, who refused to lodge cases against dancer Mallika Sarabhai.

However, his submission was opposed by Shah’s counsel Mahesh Jethmalani, who said there was complete non-compliance with the May 12, 2011 order by Sharma, who was directed not to retain allegations made in 10 paragraphs of the original petition.

While rejecting Sharma’s plea for permission to travel, the bench took into account its earlier order by which several restrictions were imposed on him …continued »

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