A special court today framed charges for alleged offences of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy against gangster Chhota Rajan and three others in a fake passport case.
Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar passed the order after Rajan, produced before the court via video conferencing, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
The charges were framed against Rajan for allegedly procuring a fake passport in the name of Mohan Kumar with the help of three government officials, also accused in the case.
The court ordered trial in the case on daily basis from July 11 noting that Rajan was in judicial custody for a long period and trial should be started on a day-to-day basis.
Besides Rajan, the court also put on trial three retired public servants — Jayashree Dattatray Rahate, Deepak Natvarlal Shah and Lalitha Lakshmanan.
The four accused have been charged for alleged offences under sections 420 (cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 467(forgery of valuable security or will), 419(cheating by impersonation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and section 12 (offences and penalties) of the Passport Act.
Besides this, the court framed charge against the retired public servants under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
During the proceedings, the court also allowed an application moved on behalf of Rajan to take his specimen signature.
Earlier during the arguments on framing of charges, the CBI had alleged that the government officials conspired to issue the passport to Rajan in the name of one Mohan Kumar, a non-existent person in complete violation of procedures.
It had told the court that Rajan, who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail under judicial custody, was accused in several cases of heinous nature involving charges of murder and extortion and when in 1995, a Red Corner Notice was issued against him, he had used a new identity to escape.
Rajan had denied the allegation that he used a fictitious identity with the help of fake passport to escape the law as he was accused in several cases of heinous nature.
His counsel had submitted that he has no objection on framing of charge against him as per the allegations in the charge sheet.
According to CBI, Rajan had got his first fake passport issued from Bengaluru on January 1, 1998 allegedly in connivance with the other accused persons.
The CBI said Rajan had allegedly got his passport issued twice from Indian missions abroad on the basis of a fake travel documents issued to him in the name of Kumar from the Bengaluru passport office in 1998.
CBI filed a charge sheet for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery under the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Passport Act.
It said these officers had allegedly ignored rules and regulations of verification while issuing the passport on fake identity and address.
CBI claimed on the basis of the passport issued in Kumar’s name, Rajan had allegedly got another passport issued on December 19, 2003 from High Commission of India at Harare, Zimbabwe, and another one from the Consulate General of India in Sydney.
Deported after being on the run for 27 years, the 55-year old gangster, who was once a close aide of fugitive terrorist and mob boss Dawood Ibrahim, was brought to India to face trial in over 70 cases of murder, extortion and drug smuggling in Delhi and Mumbai.
Rajan was deported to India after his arrest in Bali in October last year.