The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed the pleas of Congress leader Jagdish Tytler and businessman Abhishek Verma, which had challenged framing of charges against them by a trial court in a corruption case. The case was registered in July, 2012, on the basis of a complaint made by Ajay Maken, the then state minister (independent charge) Youth Affairs and Sports. Maken had alleged that a fake letter on his letter head was used for some pecuniary advantage in an unauthorised manner. Maken had said he had come to know about the letter from a news report published in The Indian Express on July 15, 2012.
A case was then registered against Abhishek Verma, unknown officials of ZET Telecom India Pvt Ltd, Ganton Ltd, USA, and its Indian subsidiary company and other unknown people under relevant sections of the IPC, Prevention of Corruption Act and IT Act.
The court noted that during investigations, it could not be established as to who had forged the letter, or where it was typed. However, as per the the investigation papers, Tytler had shown the forged letter to the director (marketing) of ZTE Telecom India in the presence of Abhishek Verma.
Earlier the CMD of ZTE had approached Verma to get the visa of his employees extended in October 2009. Presenting the letter, written on Maken’s letterhead and addressed to the PM, Verma assured the ZTE employees that the visa issue would be pursued. “Thus the investigation, according to the chargesheet, clearly revealed that the petitioner (Tytler) had knowingly and actively connived with Abhishek Verma in attempting to cheat ZTE telecom…,” the High Court noted.
While the counsel for Tytler and Verma argued that “it could not be proved (in trial court) as to who manufactured the alleged fraudulent letter or recover the computer on which it was typed”, Justice Ashutosh Kumar said, “It would appear that the trial court has gone in rather detail and has come to the conclusion that the offences for which the petitioner has been charged are prima facie made out from trial.”