M A I N   N E W S

Ex-Mumbai police chief, others discharged
Telgi ready to plead guilty

Pune, June 27
In yet another dramatic twist to the fake stamp paper scam case, prime accused Abdul Karim Telgi, who stoutly denied all accusations against him in the special MCOCA court yesterday, informed the court today that he was ready to plead guilty.

Telgi’s lawyer Milind Pawar said his client, inspired by 43 of the 65 accused who pleaded guilty to the charges before special judge Chitra Bhedi, wanted to plead guilty tomorrow. An oral submission was made before the court.

When the judge wanted to know why he was delaying the matter till tomorrow, Telgi said he wished to consult his wife Shahida. To which, the judge allowed time till 11am tomorrow for accepting and pleading guilty to all charges framed against him.

However, the judge chided Telgi for flip-flop, saying that her experience was that he never kept his word.

A subdued Telgi assured the court that he would plead guilty tomorrow after his wife Shahida arrived from Bangalore.

The Judge warned that if he failed to keep his word he would be fined for the same. She also said she would look into the legal aspects of the case.

Telgi’s counsel said if Shahida failed to show up in the court tomorrow, she would have to serve a jail term.

Meanwhile, after a wait of nearly three and a half years, senior police officials, including former Mumbai police commissioner R.S. Sharma, DCP Pradeep Sawant and PI Vashist Andhale, today walked free as the Special MCOCA court here discharged them from the stamp scam case for want of sufficient evidence.

A surprised courtroom heard judge Chitra Bhedi call out accused no 60 (R.S. Sharma) and in the same breath, ordered him “discharged”.

After the verdict, a relieved and happy Sharma said: “'I have always maintained my innocence. This victory today has affirmed my faith in the Indian judicial system.”

Sharma alleged that some officers from the special investigation team (SIT) like additional director-general O.P. Bali, DIG Subodh Jaiswal and IG S.S. Puri wanted to pad “untruths” about him.

“I was the one who arrested and destroyed Telgi and some others as well. But, the problem started when I wanted to make Telgi’s wife an accused in the case, which was resisted. However, she was made an accused following the apex court’s decision. After that no stone was left unturned in applying the MCOCA Act against me,” he claimed.

When asked whether the alleged jealousy of colleagues was on account of the race for the coveted Mumbai police commissioner’s post, Sharma replied in the affirmative.

To a question whether he would take any action against them, Sharma said he would not like to comment at this point of time but hinted that it would be considered.

Judge Bhedi also discharged accused no 65, DCP Pradeep Sawant of the crime branch attached to Dharavi unit V. Although, Sawant refused to speak to the media in detail, he said: “I am happy.” PI Vashist Andhale too was discharged. — UNI



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