An assistant in the stores and purchase office of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) will face trial in four separate courts in the city for 76 counts of forgery.
The CBI has filed 25 separate chargesheets against V K Gupta for forging 76 purchase orders between August 2000 and August 2001,amounting to Rs 22 lakh for office stationery such as mosquito repellant sprays and printer cartridges.
Gupta was authorised to collect the purchased material and deposit payments to vendors on behalf of NPL. He allegedly forged purchase orders for items ordered from Kendriya Bhandar and failed to put the delivery of the items in the NPL records.
The NPL officials discovered the fraud in 2005 when Kendriya Bhandar asked the laboratory to pay outstanding bills amounting to Rs 31.9 lakh.
Subsequently,the CBI registered a case of forgery,falsification of record and corruption against Gupta for 76 instances of fraud.
When the case came up for trial in March 2012,Guptas advocate filed an application before the court of Special CBI Judge Talwant Singh objecting to the bunching of the cases into a single lawsuit.
He argued that each of the instances of forgery was a separate transaction/offence having no connection with other instance/offence. The trial of all the offences together had caused grave prejudice to the accused in defending himself, he said.
The advocate pleaded that Section 219 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) restricted trial of more than three offences of the same kind together at the same time. This legal provision states that a person accused of more than one offence of the same kind committed within 12 months may be tried at one trial for up to three of the offences.
The court accepted the plea,noting that the alleged forgery of the signatures of the authorised officer on each and every purchase order is a distinct offence.
The court had taken up one case,relating to three forged bills,for trial,and ordered the CBI to file separate challans for the remaining instances of offences,clubbing not more than three instances in one challan.
The CBI on Thursday filed 13 fresh chargesheets in the case. The court of Special CBI Judge Swaranakanta Sharma took cognisance of seven chargesheets and issued summons to Gupta to appear before it on Saturday.
It was learnt that six chargesheets have been filed in the court of CBI Judge Sanjeev Jain,while 11 others in other courts. The case in Special Judge Talwant Singhs court is currently at its final stage.