Bhuj land scam: Sharma moves bail plea before HChttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/bhuj-land-scam-sharma-moves-bail-plea-before-hc/

Bhuj land scam: Sharma moves bail plea before HC

Pradeep Sharma,the Gujarat-cadre IAS officer and former Commissioner of Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation who has been arrested in connection with an alleged 2002 post-earthquake land scam at Bhuj in Kutch district...

Pradeep Sharma,the Gujarat-cadre IAS officer and former Commissioner of Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation who has been arrested in connection with an alleged 2002 post-earthquake land scam at Bhuj in Kutch district,moved a bail application before Gujarat High Court on Thursday. The application has been moved following the order of the District Sessions Judge not to grant him the bail.

Sharma was arrested on January 6,along with three others,allegedly for corruption in rebuilding of the wholesale market in Bhuj that was destroyed in 2001 earthquake.

Confirming the filing of the application,Senior Counsel of the Gujarat High Court,S V Raju,who appeared for Sharma at the subordinate courts also,said the case has been created without any grounds for the same.

“The land in question was allotted to a trust by the government and even the price for the same was fixed by the government. Sharma,the then collector,was not responsible for it. In fact,the collector had put more conditions for the allotment of the land than the Government. As such,there is no scam in the case as alleged,” said Raju.

Raju said the police had arrested Sharma in the wee hours without even informing him about the case as if he was a terrorist. There is no case against Sharma. And so,he has demanded bail on the merits of the case,he added.

Surat Dy Collector questioned

Surat: THE CID questioned the Deputy Collector of Surat J R Valvi,the then mamlatdar of Bhuj,in the post 2001 Kutch earthquake land allotment scam. The officers questioned him for one hour,before releasing him.

The CID had arrested Bhavnagar Municipal Commissioner Pradeep Sharma following investigations into the Rs 70-crore scam. Sharma was the Municipal Commissioner of Kutch district and had allotted land in violation of the rules and regulations,it was alleged.

The CID arrested three others during the course of the investigations. The CID is calling all the officers who were posted in the Revenue Department at Bhuj at that time for questioning.

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Valvi did not reveal the details of his talks with the police,but said the questionnaire lasted for one hour and the police noted down some details provided by him.