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The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has filed chargesheet against former IAS officer Pradeep Sharma in the Bhavnagar special court in connection with alleged bribery of Rs 25 lakh. Sharma is under judicial custody. He is currently lodged in Bhavnagar jail for the past two months. Sharma was arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on March 9, hours after he stepped out of Sabarmati Central Jail after getting bail in the alleged money-laundering case probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The ACB had lodged the fresh FIR at 6:15 am on same day and picked up Sharma at 10 am from the gate of the Sabarmati jail.
The FIR is based on a statement recorded by the ED in 2014 but the ACB never questioned him or lodged any offence till his release date. In the chargesheet, sources said, ACB has summed up its argument around the statement of Sahay Raj, managing director of a private shipping firm, Shoft Shipyard, who has allegedly said that he gave Rs 25 lakh bribe to Sharma for releasing funds back in 2009.
Raj is alleged to have said, “During the period between December 2008 to May 2009, Pradeep N. Sharma was MD of Alcock Ashdown (Gujarat) Limited. During this period, he had given money to the tune of Rs 25 lakh for the release of the payments from Alcock Ashdown (Gujarat) Limited to his company.”