Stamp paper scam: Telgi gets 10-year RI

The Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court in Pune convicted five persons, including kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi, to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment in a stamp paper scam case.

Telgi, who has been behind bars since 2002, will have to go through the sentence separately after Special Judge S N Sardesai rejected his lawyer's plea that the term be allowed to run concurrent to the one he is serving. This means on completion of his earlier sentences in cases he has been convicted, he will then have to serve an additional 10 years.

Pradeep Gharat, special public prosecutor for the CBI, said, "Though imprisonments in this singular case are to run simultaneously, the years will be counted after he serves the sentences in other cases including one at Bundgarden in 2007 and another one for his role in the death of his driver Christopher Bhatti. This is because Telgi was neither arrested nor remanded in custody for this specific case." He has also been fined for Rs 17.5 lakh.

On May 27, Telgi pleaded guilty through video conferencing and later sent a signed plea through the jail. He is now lodged in a Bangalore jail.

Telgi along with Digambar Jagale, former policeman Rajdhar Jaiswal, Awdhesh Tiwari and Shabbir Mustaq Shaikh were found guilty on various grounds for conspiring and selling bogus stamp papers worth over Rs 60 lakh to several banks and private companies in Mumbai.

The court, however, discharged two other accused Mohammad Hussain and Sanjay Pagare as their role was already established and they were convicted in another connected case registered in Bund Garden police station in Pune. "The court discharged them and the case against Teeladhar Nemade, a policeman who died during the trial, was also closed on Monday," said Gharat.

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