A Special court today took cognizance on a supplementary charge sheet filed in an alleged fake passport case in which gangster Chhota Rajan along with three retired public servants are facing prosecution.
Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar took cognizance on the charge sheet under the Passport Act and fixed the case for May 18 for hearing arguments on framing of charges.
“I have perused the charge sheet as well as sanction order (issued by Joint Secretary and Chief Passport Officer, Ministry of External Affairs on behalf of Central Government). I take cognizance under Section 12 of Passport Act against all the accused persons,” the judge said.
The court had earlier taken cognizance of the charge sheet and summoned the accused persons in February this year.
During the hearing, Rajan who is currently lodged in Tihar Jail here under judicial custody, was produced before court through video conferencing.
The court had earlier summoned as accused Rajan and three retired public servants — Jayashree Dattatray Rahate, Deepak Natvarlal Shah and Lalitha Lakshmanan — in the case.
According to CBI, Rajan had got his first fake passport issued from Bengaluru on January 1, 1998 allegedly in connivance with then passport officers — Jayashree Dattatray Rahate, Deepak Natvarlal Shah and Lalitha Lakshmanan — in the name of a fictitious person, Mohan Kumar.
According to CBI, Rajan had allegedly got his passport issued twice from Indian missions abroad on the basis of a fake travel document issued to him in the name of Kumar from the Bengaluru passport office in 1998.
The agency has filed the charge sheet for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery under the IPC and under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI sources had said these officers had allegedly ignored rules and regulations of verification while issuing the passport on fake identity and address.
CBI claimed that on the basis of passport issued in Kumars 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 underworld don 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.
( Source – PTI )