A court here on Monday granted bail to three retired officials of the passport department in a fake passport case against underworld don Rajendra Sadashiv Nikhalje alias Chhota Rajan.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Vinod Kumar on February 3 issued summons to the three retired officers and asked them to appear before court on March 14.
All the three accused - - Jayashree Dattatray Rahate, Deepak Natvarlal Shah and Lalitha Laxamanan - - appeared before the court on Monday and sought bail.
Advocate S. P. M. Tripathi, the defence counsel of Shah, while requesting bail for his client said that his client will follow every condition imposed by the court and there was no apprehension of tampering with evidence as the case was based on documentary evidence.
Special Judge Vinod Kumar granted bail to all three, asking them to furnish a personal bond of Rs. 50, 000 and a surety of like amount each, counsel Tripathi said.
The court, meanwhile, extended till March 30 the judicial custody of Chhota Rajan, who was presented before it via video conferencing.
According to the CBI, Rajan got his first fake passport issued from Bangalore on January 1, 1998, allegedly in connivance with the then passport officers - - Rahate, Shah and Laxamanan - - in the name of a fictitious person 'Mohan Kumar'.
The probe agency has booked Rajan and others on charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, cheating by impersonation and forgery of documents under the Indian Penal Code.
Rajan is wanted in over 85 cases, ranging from murder to extortion, smuggling and drug trafficking. He has cases pending against him in Maharashtra, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and with the CBI.
The don, held by Indonesian police on October 25, 2015, was deported to India on November 6, 2015.