New Delhi: Abdul Karim Telgi, the main accused in the multi-crore fake stamp paper scandal, has named Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar during investigation.
Telgi also accused former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Chhagan Bhujbal and former Karnataka tourism minister Roshan Baig of involvement in the scam. The special investigation team investigating the scandal has questioned Baig before.
Telgi made these disclosures during a narco analysis test in Bangalore in 2003. In a videotape of the narco analysis test, Telgi is heard answering questions put by investigators.
"Mr Pawar, Mr Bhujbal," he tells the investigators. “Politicians are the backbone of this business,” he is heard saying.
Pawar denied the allegations, saying that he had nothing to do with Telgi. Pawar, who is also the chief of NCP, said Telgi had just taken his name and didn’t accuse him of wrongdoing.
Question: Who are the politicians?
Telgi: Sharad Pawar, Bhujbal.
| Question: Tell me about the politicians.
Telgi: Politicians are the backbone of this business.
| Question: Who has threatened you?
Telgi: Threatening is there…somebody will kill me.
| Question: In Karnataka?
Telgi: In Karnataka I cannot name, because I have told everything to the boss... still there are no arrests.
Pawar claimed that it was Bhujbal who had got Telgi exposed and that’s why he was framing the politician. The minister said he didn’t associate with “third-class log”.
In August, CNN-IBN had aired tapes in which Telgi accused top Maharashtra and Karnataka politicians of involvement in the scam.
Telgi was arrested in 1991 for printing and selling fake stamp papers -- his monthly profits from the scam were esitmated to be Rs 100 crore.
On Monday, the Central Bureau of Investigation approached a Delhi court seeking permission to question Telgi’s six close aides who are lodged in jails.
The CBI sought a common direction to Chandigarh, Banglore and Pune prison officials that it be allowed to interrogate six persons in jails.
FAKE STAMP PAPER SCAM
The Telgi scam involving the sale of fake stamp papers is probably one of the biggest scams unearthed in the country.
Telgi printed fake stamp papers worth thousands of crores of rupees using printing machines purchased illegally with the help of some officials of the Central Government's security printing press in Nashik.
From 1995 to 2003, when the fake stamp paper scam broke, an estimated Rs 30,000 crore worth of fake stamp papers had been sold across seven states including Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Telgi used the money from the sale of the fake stamp papers to bribe Government and police officials.