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Apex court gives bail to suspended Gujarat bureaucrat

Tuesday December 13, 2011 07:48:09 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday granted bail to suspended Gujarat Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Pradip Sharma, who is in jail for alleged involvement in a land scam.

The apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.P. Desai granted bail after Sharma gave an undertaking that he would make himself available for trial as and when called by the court and report to police once a week.

The court, while granting bail, directed him to furnish a bond of Rs.5 lakh. "We are satisfied that petitioner (Pradip Sharma) be released on bail on the conditions to the satisfaction of the trial court," the court said.

Sharma's passport deposited with the trial court would not be released till the proceedings got over, the apex court said.

The apex court judges directed Sharma to report to the deputy superintendent of police (DSP), criminal investigation department-crime, at Gandhinagar every Monday between 11-11.30 a.m.

In the event he has to come to Delhi, he would communicate his plans to the DSP giving details of where he would be going and report to the resident commissioner at Gujarat bhavan.

The court said that Sharma would desist from influencing witnesses.

The Gujarat government was free to circulate Sharma's photograph and other personal details to immigration authorities at airports and ports, the judges said.

The court rejected the plea by state government's senior counsel Ranjit Kumar seeking the release of Sharma's photograph and other personal details to the Interpol. The court asked him if Sharma was being projected as an international criminal.

In case Sharma escapes abroad, the court said that "we can assure you that we will catch him by the collar of his neck and bring him back". However, the court said, too many things were being assumed.

The IAS officer was jailed after allegations of giving land to private companies at a concessional rate in the wake of the 2001 earthquake.






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