New Delhi, Mar 14: A special court today granted bail to three retired public servants, chargesheeted along with underworld don Chhota Rajan in an alleged fake passport case, after they appeared before it in pursuance to the summmons issued to them.
Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar gave the relief to retired passport officers -- Jay Shree Rahate, Deepak Natvarlal Shah and Lalitha Laxamanan -- after they furnished a bail bond of Rs 50,000 each and one surety of like amount.
While granting bail, the court directed the accused not to leave the country without its prior permission. During the brief hearing, the CBI told the court that they would supply copies of the documents filed by it along with the charge sheet to the accused.
The court has now fixed the matter for March 30 for scrutiny of documents by the accused. Rajan is presently lodged in jail under judicial custody. The court had issued summons to the accused on February 5 after taking cognizance on the charge sheet and observing that since these public servants have already retired, no sanction under section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act was required to be taken before proceeding against them.
According to the CBI, Rajan had got his first fake passport issued from Bengaluru on January 1, 1998 allegedly in connivance with the three officials, who were then passport officers, in the name of a fictitious person, Mohan Kumar.
The agency had told the court that 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 Mohan 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 has said these officers had allegedly ignored rules and regulations of verification while issuing the passport on fake identity and address.
CBI has claimed that on the basis of passport issued in Mohan 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 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. He was deported to India after his arrest in Bali in October last year.