Politicians named in Telgi tapes

In a videotape of his narco-analysis test conducted in 2003, the scamster is shown naming the agriculture minister.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2006 14:43 IST

Abdul Karim Telgi is back to haunt politicians. On Wednesday, television channels ran tapes of a narco-analysis test carried out on Telgi - main accused in the multi-crore fake stamp paper case - in which he claims to have made payments to Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal. The test was carried out in 2003.

Both Pawar and Bhujbal have denied links with Telgi. Pawar said, "I'm not at all connected with this. The CBI never called me for investigations. But I will not mind further probe."

Bhujbal said the Special Investigation Team (SIT), Pune and the CBI have already investigated into the matter under the supervision of the Bombay High Court. "Telgi is particularly perturbed with me because he was booked under MCOCA during my tenure (as deputy CM)," he said.

The CBI started investigating into the scam in mid-2004. CBI spokesperson G. Mohanty said, "We had received the recording of a test when the case was transferred to us (in 2004)." He said it was too early to say whether the tapes run by the channels were the same. But sources said the transcript matched the one given to the CBI.

The CBI said it had pursued all leads from the test, but did not find any corroborative evidence against the two politicians.

Mohanty said, "The narco-analysis test on Telgi was conducted by SIT, Pune at the Forensic Science Laboratory, Bangalore. We never conducted this test on him."

The SIT was probing the Bund Garden police station case. In this, police had seized printing machinery, fake government stamps and non-judicial stamp papers worth nearly Rs 2,900 crore.

The CBI, in its chargesheet filed on July 26 last year, had named 67 people as accused in the case. Neither Pawar nor Bhujbal's names figured in the chargesheet. The CBI had questioned Bhujbal but never asked Pawar to appear for questioning as it did not have any "corroborative evidence or a reasonable doubt" against him.

"The leads which emerged during the narco-analysis examination were pursued. On the further corroboratory evidences, the chargesheet was filed," said Mohanty.

A few months after the narco-analysis test, Telgi had given a confessional statement in front of the chief judicial magistrate, Mumbai, in which he did not name either of the two politicians.

Legal experts said results of narco-analysis tests were not admissible as evidence in the court of law.

Trial in the multi-crore scam is going on in a designated court in Pune under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). In a 1999 case, Telgi has already been sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.

The case had rocked Maharashtra's political circles when the SIT arrested former Mumbai police commissioner RS Sharma and other top police officials followed by interrogation of Bhujbal's nephew Sameer and other officials.

(Inputs from Mumbai)

First Published: Sep 06, 2006 15:47 IST