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Rahul Mahajan's trial begins on Feb 21

Rahul Mahajan will stand trial along with his late father's aide Harish Sharma on various charges under the NDPS Act.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2007 21:50 IST

The trial of Rahul Mahajan, the son of late Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan, for his alleged drug abuse last year will begin on Feb 21.

Rahul Mahajan will stand trial along with his late father's aide Harish Sharma on various charges under the stringent Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

The designated NDPS court on Wednesday decided to commence the trial from Feb 21 after Rahul Mahajan and Sharma both pleaded not guilty on various counts of charges under the NDPS Act and claimed trial.

Additional Session Judge SN Gupta had framed charges on Jan 6 against the two on counts of possessing drugs and permitting their premises for commission of a drug-related offence, besides abetting it under a criminal conspiracy.

While framing charges against Rahul Mahajan, the court had discharged him of the more serious allegations of financing and habouring illicit drug trafficking offenders.

The court, however, has framed charges against another co-accused, Sahil Zaroo, under various stringent provisions.

Sharma and Rahul Mahajan's servant Ganesh will stand trial on charges of destroying evidence under a criminal conspiracy.

As for the two Nigerian nationals accused in the matter, Abdul Latif Ashola alias Mohammed Abdullah will face trial for possessing drugs and abetting criminal conspiracy while Egbedokun James Taiwo will be prosecuted for possessing more than five grams of drugs.

All the accused except the two Nigerian nationals are out on bail.

The Delhi police chargesheeted all accused in August last year alleging that Zaroo had procured drugs at the instance of Rahul Mahajan and later the two along with Bibek Moitra (since dead), former personal secretary of Pramod Mahajan, had snorted it at the 7 Safdarjung Road bungalow, erstwhile official residence of the late BJP leader.

Police have kept Moitra in column two of the chargesheet, which is for the accused not set up for trial.

The case had made headlines when Apollo Hospital authorities in New Delhi informed the Tughlak Road police station in the early hours of June 2 that Rahul Mahajan had been admitted to the hospital in an unconscious state while Moitra had been brought dead.

First Published: Jan 10, 2007 21:50 IST