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Film on Telgi awaits his approval

Ready and armed with a Censor Board certificate, the film remains unreleased since Telgi sought a permanent injunction on it, reports Yogesh Joshi.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2008 02:19 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times

In real life master stamp forger Abdul Karim Telgi never really cleared the air on his connections with politicians, nor were any allegations against some big state and Karnataka leaders established by the police.

Now, if the judiciary allows it, a reel representation of Telgi might tell the whole story.

The film Mudrank (stamps) based on Telgi and his Rs 3,000 crore nationwide scam is ready for release and will soon have a premier of sorts in the presence of the man who inspired it.

Following directions from the local court, a screening of Mudrank is to be arranged at the Yerawada Central Prison before April 22 for Telgi.

Ready and armed with a Censor Board certificate, the film remains unreleased since Telgi sought a permanent injunction on it. He had opposed the release on the grounds that the case against him was sub-judice and the movie might prejudice the matter.

The civil court then ordered Telgi, who has now been convicted and sentenced to 13 years’ rigorous imprisonment in one of the 48 cases — four have been disposed of — against him, should first see the movie and clear his doubts.

“The court has permitted Telgi to see the film with one of his lawyers inside Yerawada. After the screening, there will be a final hearing and the court will decide on the fate of the film,” Telgi’s lawyer Vidyadhar Koshe said.

Many politicians like the then home minister Chhagan Bhujbal and bigwigs in Karnataka politics had faced allegation of having connections with Telgi. The police never charged Bhujbal. Even police officers were dragged into the case; some were later cleared by the court.

“The movie on the stamp scam has some characters like politicians and police that may seem to have been taken from real life but are actually the creation of reel life,” Shakir Shaikh, director of the low-budget film, said.

Producer Bhagvan Soungar said the “star” was a newcomer. “It stars newcomer Kailash Manav as Telgi while Milind Gunaji plays the role of a member of the assembly and Suresh Oval plays another big state politician,” Soungar said.

As for those who prefer books to films, Telgi is writing his autobiography in prison. His lawyer said it was nearing completion.