A day after the Supreme Court refused to grant him anticipatory bail, the Enforcement Directorate on Sunday arrested Pradip Sharma, a suspended IAS officer of the Gujarat cadre, in a money-laundering case. He was produced before a magistrate and remanded in judicial custody.
Sharma was first arrested in 2009 by the Gujarat police in a corruption case when he was serving as Bhavnagar Municipal Commissioner. In 2012, the Enforcement Directorate registered a case against him for allegedly violating the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
In its complaint, the Enforcement Directorate said Sharma, when he served as Kutch Collector during 2003-04, had sold a piece of government land at a cheaper rate to the Kutch-based Welspun Group, causing the exchequer a loss of Rs.1.2 crore. The company made Sharma’s U.S.-based wife a 30 per cent partner in one of its subsidiary units and gave her Rs. 29.5 lakh in benefits. The money was first deposited in her account and subsequently transferred to Sharma’s account.