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Telgi denial twist in stamp scam probe

Mumbai, Nov. 29: Mastermind of the stamp paper racket Abdul Karim Telgi has added a fresh twist to the case, saying he never wrote a diary that mentioned the names of 19 ministers and policemen as beneficiaries in the Rs 39,000-crore scam.

The denial came two days after Ranjit Singh Sharma, the former city police commissioner now chargesheeted for his role in the scandal, alleged in court that police had with them the names of these ministers and policemen.

The names, Sharma’s counsel V.R. Manohar had said, were mentioned in a diary that was confiscated during a raid on Telgi, and that no action had been taken against them. Claiming that the government was victimising Sharma, Manohar said the identities of these persons were still under wraps.

“The special investigation team (which is probing the scam in Maharashtra) has taken no action against the 19 persons who have been named in the diary,” Manohar said, appealing to Bombay High Court to transfer the case to the CBI. The government, the lawyer added, will not be fair to Sharma and it was only the CBI that could bring the guilty to book.

Telgi’s statement refuting Sharma’s allegations has added a new dimension to the case. In Bangalore, Telgi’s lawyer M.T. Nanaiah said: “He (Telgi) has not written that way. The Mumbai police found the diary after he was in prison for two years. Who has written this diary' Whose diary is it'”

Telgi, who is in Bangalore central jail, said while being taken to a local court that he has not named any minister.

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