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Snooping row: Pradeep Sharma refuses to divulge info on surveillance

Ahmedabad: Suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma today said he is completing legal formalities but could not divulge his position or share details in connection with the alleged illegal surveillance of a woman.

Two investigative news portals, Cobrapost.com and Gulail.com had claimed on November 15 that Shah had ordered illegal surveillance of a woman at the behest of one "Saheb".

 Snooping row: Pradeep Sharma refuses to divulge info on surveillance

Screengrab of the Cobrapost Gulail expose.

They had released taped conversations between Shah and IPS officer G L Singhal to support their claim, but said that its authenticity could not be confirmed. "I am completing legal formalities. I cannot divulge any details at this time about my stand on the issue," Sharma told PTI.

Sharma approached the Supreme Court today urging it to take cognisance of audio tapes aired by the news portals, saying it contains proof of how the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government had tried to frame him in "frivolous" cases.

A 1984 batch IAS officer, Sharma faces five criminal cases, including a case of alleged irregularity in land allotment to private firms in Kutch district in 2008. He last served as Bhavnagar Municipal Commissioner, before being arrested on January 6, 2010, in a case involving alleged irregularities during Kutch earthquake rehabilitation.

He is out on bail now.

Meanwhile, BJP leader and former Gujarat health minister Jaynarayan Vyas said when news portals themselves said that the authencity of tapes could not be verified, there does not arise any question of a debate.

"Well, I can't comment on material which has been disowned by its own creators. They have put it up on their website or domain with a disclaimer that they (the websites) don't vouch for the validity of these tapes," Vyas said.

"Now, when something is not accepted by the creators themselves as valid, why should you go on making comments on that or draw any conclusions based on it," Vyas said.

"I think, it is absolutely premature, uncalled for and unwarranted at this juncture to ask for any kind of comments about it," the former Gujarat government spokesperson said. Congress has demanded a probe by a sitting Supreme Court judge into the incident.

PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 19, 2013 22:10:10 IST