The Patiala House Court will today hear the arguments on the quantum of sentence to be awarded to the underworld don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan and three other government officials in a fake passport case. The court on Monday convicted Chhota Rajan and three government officials in connection with the case. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Virender Kumar Goyal said arguments on sentencing of Rajan and others will continue on Tuesday.
The court on June 8 last year framed charges against Chhota Rajan and then passport officers Jayashree Dattatray Rahate, Deepak Natvarlal Shah and Lalitha Lakshmanan under sections of the Indian Penal Code dealing with criminal conspiracy, cheating, cheating by impersonation and forgery of documents. The court will on Tuesday hear arguments on the quantum of sentence to be awarded to the convicts. It had on March 28 reserved its judgment in the case.
During pendency of the plea, the high court had ordered a stay on pronouncement of verdict in the case by trial court. However, the high court later rejected the plea.
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All the four persons have been convicted of 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. The CBI in its chargesheet alleged that Chhota Rajan got issued a fake passport from Bengaluru in 1998-99 in connivance with the others. The three are out on bail, while Rajan is in judicial custody.
Rajan is accused in over 85 cases, ranging from murder to extortion, smuggling and drug trafficking. He has cases pending against him in Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and with the CBI. The don, held by the Indonesian police on October 25, 2015, was deported to India on November 6, 2015 after being on the run for 27 years.