The Bombay High Court on Wednesday stayed the playing of audio cassettes, containing the alleged intercepted telephonic conversation between Abdul Karim Telgi, prime accused in the stamp paper scam, and the other accused till August 1.
Justice RS Mohite passed an interim order following an allegation by Anil Gote, former MLA and an accused in the scam, that on Tuesday the investigating agency (Central Bureau of Investigation) could produce only eight audio cassettes in the Pune designated court. However, 14 audio cassettes were handed over to them.
He further alleged that some of the tapes went missing and prosecution had deliberately witheld the same to safeguard the top politicians of the state who had spoken with Telgi and actively participated in the scam.
He also contended that as per the direction of this court, the Karnataka Police had intercepted the talks and handed over the 14 audio cassettes to the prosecution but the same were not produced in the court.
Strongly opposing the allegations made by Gote, CBI Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare argued that all the 14 audio cassettes were well preserved.
Only eight relevant cassettes were produced in the court so that it did not effect the case.
He, however, denied the allegations made by the petitioner and said that the cassettes as well as the transcripts, which were handed over to the CBI and were kept safely and were a vital piece of evidence against the accused in the scam.
According to the prosecution case, police had earlier intercepted 3,870 long distance calls made by Telgi and also 11,000 calls made within the country.
The Karnataka Police had handed over the same to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of CBI, which was probing the scam in 2003, following a petition to this effect which was filed by social activist Anna Hazare in the High Court.