Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge Chitra Bedi who has been hearing the multi-crore fake stamp paper scam case, allegedly involving kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi, has been de-notified from conducting CBI cases. With the de-notification, judge Bedi cannot conduct CBI cases anymore.
So, another CBI judge will hear cases, including the Telgi stamp paper scam case.
The de-notification circular was issued by the Law and Judiciary Department and signed by Joint Secretary V.R. Patil.
While Special Public Prosecutor in the stamp paper scam case, Pradeep Gharat, said that even he had got to know about Judge Bedi’s de-notification, he refused to comment further.
Recently, Judge Bedi had made former superintendent of stamps, Radheshyam Mopalwar, a complaint in the case, an accused.
This came after Telgi’s lawyer filing an application in court saying Mopalwar should also be made an accused. The lawyer argued that Telgi had, in his confession, said Mopalwar was also involved in the scam and used to support Telgi.
The Bombay High Court had, however, stayed the court’s order.
As a special judge, Bedi was also hearing an application moved by accused Ram Ratan Soni, whom Telgi called his ‘guru’ (master). According to Telgi’s confession, it was Soni who taught him the business of stamp vending, seeking that then revenue minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Special Investigating Team (SIT) officers Sanjeev Bhole, Sanjay Barve, Subodh Jaiswal and S.S. Puri also be made accused.
Soni had, in the application, said Deshmukh had ‘abused’ his position as revenue minister and had taken ‘active undue interest for getting the licence in favour of Telgi’.
In 2007, as a special MCOCA judge in Pune, judge Bedi had sentenced Telgi to 13 years imprisonment and had slapped a fine of Rs 50 crore in the stamp paper scam case.