CBI’s plea to close fake stamp case rejected, to probe further

CBI’s plea to close fake stamp case rejected, to probe further

New Delhi: Rapping the CBI, a court here has directed re-investigation of a multi-crore fake stamp scam case in which kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi had allegedly tried to involve a former MP in his counterfeit insurance policy stamp racket.

Rejecting CBI’s request to close the case against Telgi and three others, Additional Sessions Judge Dinesh Dayal said: “It appears that CBI had proceeded to file the closure report merely because the person who should have been an accused refused that he had accepted the money."

“I find that the CBI has not taken proper steps to investigate the matter in spite of the fact that the FIR was registered on 31 May, 2005," the court said while noting that CBI had alleged that the accused had sought the help of former Lok Sabha MP A D K Jeyaseelan in 2002.

“No investigation has been made to establish whether money was received by him (Jeyaseelan - as part of his alleged collusion with the accused)," the court said, ordering a fresh look at the former MP’s alleged links with Telgi.

The agency, in its report seeking closure of the case, registered in 2005, against Telgi and co-accused — Jacob Chacko (acquaintance of Telgi); Ramaswamy Sadhu and S Sivaramakrishnan (then officers at LIC) — stated that “no incriminating material and evidence" could be gathered in order to prosecute them.

In its FIR, the agency had alleged that Chacko and Sadhu had approached Sivaramakrishnan, then senior branch Manager at LIC, Madurai, to help them obtain a letter from Jeyaseelan, to help them get a supply order for insurance stamps, in the name of Telgi-owned Shara Enterprises.

It was also alleged that the former MP had written a letter on 13 March, 2002 in that regard, to Minister of State for Finance, with a request to advise LIC to purchase policy stamps from the six companies of Telgi, situated in different cities of the country.

While the FIR alleged that Sivaramakrishnan was paid a sum of Rs1.09 lakh for facilitating the deal, the agency in its closure report said that Sadhu and Sivaramakrishnan had resiled from their earlier statement admitting of complicity in the case.

The court in its recent order directing CBI to further probe the case said that both the accused persons could not be let off simply because they retracted from their earlier statements.

“These two persons (R Sadhu and S Sivaramakrishnan), who were part of the conspiracy cannot be let off merely because they have refused to make statement under section 164 of Criminal Procedure Code before Magistrate," the judge said.

Pointing to the inadequate investigation towards establishing evidence on monetary transaction between the accused persons and Jeyaseelan, the court said that out of total Rs1.09 lakhs allegedly received by Sivaramakrishnan, a sum of Rs1 lakh appeared to have been paid to the then MP.

The CBI in its report had said that the material collected during investigation of the case could not establish that Jeyaseelan had “abused his official position by corrupt means".