A retired government officer, chargesheeted along with underworld don Chhota Rajan in an alleged fake passport case, today appeared in a special court, a day after it expressed displeasure over her absence and ordered that she should be present on every date.
The accused appeared today after the court yesterday expressed annoyance over her absence. It noted that while prosecution witness T Rajashekara was standing in the court the whole day and being questioned by her counsel, Lalitha Lakshmanan was “enjoying the cool comforts of home”.
“It is seen that cross examination of prosecution witness 25 (Rajashekara) by accused number 4 (Lakshmanan) is continuing the whole day. It is not a good situation that accused number 4 is enjoying the cool comforts of home and the witness is standing in the court the whole day.”
“Therefore, I direct that accused Lalitha Lakshmanan shall appear in person at 10 am and shall remain present in this court on each and every date,” the judge, who is conducting the trial on a day-to-day basis, had said.
Lakshmanan was granted bail by the court on March 14, along with two others — Jay Shree Rahate and Deepak Natvarlal Shah — after they had appeared before the court in pursuance to the summons issued to them. Rajan is currently in the judicial custody.
The court had earlier framed charges for alleged offences of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy against all the four accused in the case.
CBI has alleged that these officers had allegedly ignored rules and regulations of verification while issuing a passport to the underworld don on the basis of fake identity and address.
The four accused have been charged 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 has also framed charges against the retired officials under the Prevention of Corruption Act.