"Sharma has been arrested by us today morning under the Prevention of Corruption Act. As per the complaint registered by us yesterday, Sharma allegedly received Rs 29 lakhs from private firm Welspun. The amount was first deposited in the account of Sharma's wife, and then transferred to his account," ACB Director (in-charge) Ashish Bhatia said.
"This is a case of allegedly taking bribe for extending benefits to a company when he was Collector of Kutch," Bhatia said.
Pradeep Sharma and his brother and IPS officer Kuldeep Sharma (now retired) were at loggerheads with the erstwhile state government headed by Modi.
ACB: This is a case of taking bribe for extending benefits to a company
The suspended IAS officer's name had also figured in the snoopgate tapes released by two portals, which alleged that a woman was snooped in Gujarat at the behest of then Minister of State for Home Amit Shah.
Sharma has been booked under Prevention of Corruption Act sections 11 (public servant obtaining valuable gift from person concerned in proceedings or business transacted by such public servant), 13(1)(D) (to obtain valuable things by corrupt or illegal means) and 13(2) (criminal misconduct by public servant).
The case pertains to 2004, when Sharma was the Collector of Kutch. As per the complaint, he had allegedly allotted land to Welspun at 25 per cent of the prevailing market rates which gave illegal benefits to the company and loss of around Rs 1.2 crore to the state exchequer.