The Telegraph
Saturday , January 18 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

SC rider to hear snoop probe plea

New Delhi, Jan. 17: The Supreme Court today said it would hear a suspended Gujarat IAS officer’s plea for a probe into alleged “snooping” on a woman by the Narendra Modi regime only after objectionable personal remarks against the chief minister in the petition are removed.

“Where is your amended application? We want to see it. We don’t have it. First we have to see whether you have complied with our earlier directive or not,” Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, part of a two-judge bench, told the lawyer for officer Pradeep Sharma.

The judge’s comments came after Prashant Bhushan, the lawyer, said Sharma had already filed an amended plea deleting the offensive parts.

The bench — the other judge was Madan B. Lokur — listed the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

The court rejected the IAS officer’s plea to travel abroad to visit his family. Sharma wanted to travel to the US to meet his wife and son, who are American citizens.

Sharma is facing six criminal cases, being probed by Gujarat police. He was suspended in 2010 and filed a petition in the apex court for transferring the cases to the CBI.

He claims Modi and his aide Amit Shah — former junior home minister in the state — are targeting him for several reasons.

Sharma’s counsel Bhushan said the Modi regime suspected that the IAS officer was in possession of incriminating material in the form of CDs which could expose alleged links with a woman whose snooping was allegedly ordered at the behest of the government.

Bhushan told the court that the Modi government was victimising Sharma also because the officer’s brother Kuldeep, an IPS, had testified against several accused in the 2002 riots.

On Sharma’s foreign travel, Gujarat government senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani and state additional advocate-general Tushar Mehta opposed the plea citing his background.

The officer was restrained once in 2010 by the apex court from going abroad after the government alleged attempts to procure a fake passport. “Given the background of the cases, we do not want to interfere at this moment (in the travel curbs),” the bench said.