New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday put on trial Congress leader Jagdish Tytler and controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma after framing charges against them for allegedly writing a forged letter addressed to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2009.
Special CBI judge Anju Bajaj Chandna put Tytler and Verma on trial after framing charges for the alleged offences punishable under various sections of IPC, including 420 (cheating), 471 (fraudulently or dishonestly using as genuine any forged document or electronic record) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy).
The court also framed charges under a provision of Prevention of Corruption Act.
After the court framed the charges against both the accused, they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial following which the judge posted the matter for recording of prosecution evidence in the case.
The court had in September reserved the order on framing of charges in the case after hearing arguments of the counsel for CBI and the accused.
During the arguments on the charges, Tytler, who was earlier granted bail, and Verma, who is in the judicial custody in connection with various cases lodges against him, denied the allegations levelled against them by CBI.
The charge sheet was filed by CBI on a complaint of then Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken alleging that a forged letter on his letterhead was addressed to Singh seeking easing of business visa norms in 2009.
Verma and Tytler were named in the charge sheet for the offence of attempting to cheat under IPC and a provision of Prevention of Corruption Act. Tytler was granted bail by the court after he had appeared before it in pursuance to summons.
Verma is currently in Tihar Jail under judicial custody after being arrested in various cases lodged against him by CBI and Enforcement Directorate.
In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that Tytler had "actively connived" with Verma to cheat a Chinese telecom firm and the Congress leader had first shown a "fake and forged" letter to the company's officials, claiming it was written by Maken to the then Prime Minister.