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CD angle to snoop row

New Delhi, Nov. 23: A suspended IPS officer, who says the Gujarat government framed him in criminal cases, today told the Supreme Court that he had introduced Narendra Modi to the woman architect at the centre of a snooping controversy.

Pradeep Sharma’s affidavit also claimed he was targeted because Modi mistakenly suspected him of possessing a CD that could sully reputations. Allegations that a Modi aide had ordered a snooping operation on the woman in 2009 “at the behest of his sahib” — as claimed by a purported sting by two websites —have sparked a political controversy. The BJP claims the architect’s father had requested the surveillance.

On a plea by Sharma, the apex court had earlier this week agreed to hear the matter in the first week of December. Both that plea and today’s affidavit came in connection with an old application by Sharma seeking transfer of the six corruption cases against him from the Gujarat police to the CBI.

Sharma says the architect, whom he has not named, was around 27 years old in 2004 when he introduced her to Modi at an event in Bhuj. “The applicant (has) knowledge of the intimacy shared by Shri Narendra Modi with a young lady architect, aged 27 years, from Bangalore, but originally from Bhuj in Gujarat, who was introduced to Shri Modi by the applicant himself in 2004,” the affidavit says.

It adds that the woman had been hired as landscape architect for a “beautification project” to develop a Hill Garden in Bhuj district. Sharma says he introduced her to Modi during the “inaugural function of the said Hill Garden”.

According to the affidavit, Sharma “verily believes” that Modi and the architect “remained in touch with each other for (the) next several years”. It says there were “widespread rumours regarding the video compact disc (VCD)” which he did not possess.

It adds that Modi “harboured a totally misconceived apprehension that the applicant (Sharma) herein is recipient of the information regarding this VCD”.

“It for this reason that a number of false and frivolous cases against the applicant herein were registered with a view to implicate him and ‘punish him’.”

Sharma says he has had an “impeccable service record” and never faced “even a departmental proceeding in his entire career from 1981 to 2010” before six cases were registered against him between 2010 and 2012.

The affidavit says the alleged surveillance and tapping of the architect’s phone violated the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, and disregarded the apex court’s 1996 guidelines against such measures being taken without following rules.

It says “the explanation of the so-called request from the father of the female architect is a mere afterthought” and does not absolve those behind the illegal surveillance.

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