A special PMLA court in Ahmedabad today refused to grant temporary bail to suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma, who is in jail in an alleged money laundering case being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate.
Special judge A C Joshi turnd down the Sharma’s plea for a five-day bail to pay homage to his late mother during the upcoming ‘shraddh’ season, on the ground that he might tamper with evidence if let out of jail.
Sharma’s lawyer had argued that his client be granted temporary bail between September 18 and September 22, and submitted before the court that he will stay in Ahmedabad during this period.
The court, however, refused to grant him bail upholding the public prosecutor’s argument that he had in the past not cooperated with the ED investigating charges against him, and he could even use his freedom to tamper with the evidence against him.
Sharma was arrested by the ED on August 1 this year under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, days after the Supreme Court vacated an interim stay on his arrest. He was sent in judicial custody on August 8 and is currently lodged at Sabarmati Central Jail.
The case pertains to the sanction of government land in Bhuj for industrial use to M/s Welspun India Limited and its group companies, Welspun Power and Steel and Welspun Gujarat Style Roharan, as part of a suspected quid pro quo.
Sharma sanctioned land to the company in 2004 when he was the collector and chairman of the District Land Evaluation and Pricing Committee, which allegedly caused loss to the government exchequer to the tune of Rs 1.2 crore.
Against this favour, he allegedly received gain to the tune of Rs 22 lakh in the name of his wife Shyamal P Sharma, the ED probe report said.
Sharma had earlier claimed that he was being victimised by the BJP government in Gujarat for his knowledge of the illegal surveillance of the woman by government agencies.