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Home > News > The Stamp of Corruption > Report

Chhagan Bhujbal's nephew fails to appear before SIT, but former PA does

Vijay Singh in Mumbai | January 05, 2004 20:58 IST
Last Updated: January 05, 2004 21:24 IST


Former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal's nephew Sameer Bhujbal on Monday failed to appear before the Special Investigation Team probing the fake stamp paper racket.

The SIT had summoned him to its office in Worli, south Mumbai but it is still unclear as to whether Sameer is back from his overseas trip. About a month back, he had gone to New York in the United States of America to attend a workshop as a representative of the Mumbai Education Trust of which Chhagan Bhujbal is one of the trustees. The MES runs an institute that offers engineering, technical and management courses.

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Being general secretary of the Nationalist Congress Party's Mumbai unit, Sameer used to be a regular at the party's programmes and functions.

Party sources said, "Sameer must be in USA because if he was in town he would have definitely attended the national level kabaddi tournament organized by the NCP in Mumbai's Shivaji Park."

The opposition has alleged that Sameer had close links with Antim Totla, who had reportedly come to the rescue of the NCP when there was a move to topple the Vilasrao Deshmukh-led Democratic Front government in 2002. Totla allegedly hosted DF legislators in Bangalore to prevent them from defecting to the opposition ranks.

Chhagan Bhujbal is in the dock for appointing R S Sharma as the police commissioner of Mumbai despite doubts over his role in the stamp scam.

Sharma is accused of shielding stamp scam prime accused Abdul Karim Telgi during his tenure as police commissioner of Pune. He was removed from the post of Mumbai's police chief on November 18 after the SIT pointed out lapses on his part in connection with the investigation into the racket.

Sharma was eventually arrested on December 1, a day after he retired, in connection with the scam. Bhujbal says his decision was based on a go-ahead by former director general of police Subhash Malhotra.

On Monday, Sharma moved the Bombay high court challenging his arrest under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act by the SIT. The hearing is scheduled for January 7.

Meanwhile, S K Bankar, former private secretary of former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, appeared before the SIT in connection with the stamp scam. He arrived at the SIT's office in Worli, Mumbai around 1300 IST on Monday in his official car and left at 1720 IST.

SIT chief S S Puri is believed to have asked him about transfer of various police officials.

One of the controversial transfers effected, when Bhujbal headed the home department, was that of Inspector Jahid of the Mumbai Crime Branch's cyber cell who was investigating a case against stamp scam prime accused Abdul Karim Telgi.

The SIT is scheduled to report to the high court on the latest developments on January 16.



The Telgi Scam: The Complete Coverage


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