Congress leader Jagdish Tytler and jailed arms dealer Abhishek Verma have been chargesheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation for allegedly forging letterhead of then Minister of State for Home Ajay Maken in 2009.
Although the agency had not named Tytler as accused in its FIR, it included his name in the charge sheet filed in the CBI special court alleging that the "forgery was done with active connivance" of the Congress leader with Verma.
"The forged letter was given to a China-based telecom firm with the purpose of wrongful assuring them of visa extension in India. Verma had allegedly demanded one million dollars from the firm showing the letter but the money did not exchange hands," a CBI official privy to investigation said.
Acting on the complaint of Maken, CBI had registered a case against Verma last year under section 469 of the IPC which relates to forgery for purpose of harming reputation.
Tytler denied allegations against him saying, "This is all rubbish. I have just come to know about it. There is no truth in it," he said.
When asked about the allegations that he actively connived in the forgery, Tytler told PTI, "How? I do not know what they are saying. This complaint is by Ajay Maken? He wants to get me.... This is the election time...."
The agency has also slapped charges for violation of Information Technology Act and Prevention of Corruption Act, they said.
During the course of its investigation, CBI claimed to have found that Tytler was allegedly actively involved in the forgery of the letter, written on letter head of Makan, which was purportedly addressed to the Prime Minister for easing visa norms for a Chinese telecom firm in 2009.
Verma and his wife were arrested on June 8 last year in the corruption case for allegedly receiving money from a Swiss firm to stall its blacklisting proceedings by Indian government. This was followed by registration of the forgery case. They are at present in judicial custody.
C Edmond Allen, an estranged business associate of Verma, had sent a tranche of documents to CBI and Defence Ministry which included a letter allegedly written on the forged letterhead of Maken.
Verma and Allen, Chairman of Ganton, are entangled in a number of litigations against each other in India and the United States.
During the inquiry, CBI found that the letter without Maken's signature was allegedly used to impress Verma's clients and show his influence in the power corridors, the sources said.
The letter on Maken's forged letterhead was part of alleged dealings between Verma's front company Ganton and a Chinese telecom company working closely with MTNL and BSNL, the charge sheet alleged.
When the case was registered in August last year, Verma had termed the allegations as "politically motivated."
"This is a political rivalry and this is being done at the behest of Jagdish Tytler as I had deposed against him in another (graft) case.
"There was a deal between me and CBI as per which it had said that if I give evidence and depose against Tytler, the agency will not oppose my wife Anca's bail in that case. I gave evidence against Tytler but CBI backtracked," Verma had argued before the special CBI court while opposing the extension of his judicial custody.