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Telgi ripple in Delhi corridor

New Delhi, Nov. 19: Worried that the CBI may come calling chasing leads in the stamp paper scam, finance ministry top brass today held a meeting to take stock of the Rs 3,000-crore scandal and its explosive fallout.

Nashik’s government press, from where Abdul Karim Telgi obtained dyes and other material used in forging judicial stamp paper, is under the control of the finance ministry’s coins and currency division. Questions have been raised how Telgi penetrated the establishment and whether Delhi-based ministry officials had colluded with him.

Ministry officials insisted that the scam was confined to the state level, mainly Maharashtra and Karnataka, and that managers at the Nashik press could have a role.

Security agency sources, however, do not rule out the involvement of officials in Delhi. Late last year, finance minister Jaswant Singh had carried out a reshuffle in the division.

The officials said the meeting discussed the revenue loss to the government from the scam. The ministry is also concerned about security at Nashik and other coin and currency minting and printing units.

Telgi had used printing machines junked by the press to perpetrate what is being called the biggest scam in modern India. The presses, it is alleged, were in good condition and he had used his influence with officials in Nashik to have them discarded.

Besides buying printing machinery, Telgi is also believed to have bribed employees into selling him negatives and positives to print the fake stationery.

 

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