Suspended IAS officer Pradeep Sharma, who is also a staunch critic of the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat, filed a plea in the Supreme Court Saturday, urging it to order a CBI inquiry into the controversial audio tapes that feature the alleged illegal surveillance of a woman architect.
The application by Sharma alleged that one of the prime reasons for his victimisation by the Modi government was his “knowledge of the intimacy shared by Shri Narendra Modi with a young lady architect, aged 27 years, from Bangalore, but originally from Bhuj in Gujarat, who was introduced to Shri Modi by the applicant himself in the year 2004”.
Citing the transcripts of the audio tapes — aired by news portals Cobrapost and Gulail — that contain the alleged conversations between Modi’s close aide Amit Shah and suspended IPS officer G L Singhal, Sharma has alleged that a number of false and frivolous cases were registered against him with a view to implicate and punish him.
The application, filed through advocate Sunil Fernandes, has stated that the surveillance was in severe violation of the Indian Telegraph Act and in absolute disregard to the guidelines laid down by the apex court.
“The said tapes/transcripts reveal a strong bias and prejudice of the state of Gujarat against the applicant herein and the state’s intent to somehow implicate the applicant herein in criminal offences,” the application said, pointing out there were approximately 267 tapped conversations that Singhal submitted to the CBI during the investigation into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
The contents of the conversations, the plea said, would reveal the hostile attitude and malicious attitude of the state government and hence, the claims by the government that surveillance was done in pursuant to the request by the woman’s father must be put to judicial scrutiny.
The BJP and the father of the woman have both said that the surveillance followed a request from the father for help. Pranlal Soni, the father, has also said that his daughter was fully aware of the help and that there has been no encroachment of her privacy.
Sharma’s application pleaded for taking on record the documents and transcripts and directing the CBI to register a case and conduct a thorough investigation into the violation of the Telegraph Act and other laws by Modi, Shah and others. Earlier this week, Sharma’s counsel Prashant Bhushan had sought an urgent hearing into the case, saying