For 46-year-old Abdul Karim Telgi, the year 2007 has seen him being sentenced in four cases in the fake stamp paper scam, including the 13-year prison term and a fine of over Rs 100 crore handed down by a court in Pune on Thursday.
Thursday's sentence came in the Bundgarden case, termed the 'mother of all fake stamp paper cases' as it blew the lid off the murky scam.
This case caused a flutter in Maharashtra's political and bureaucratic circles and led to the resignation of Chhajan Bhujbal as deputy chief minister.
Besides this, some top police officers were removed from their posts and others were put behind bars for their alleged role in the matter. The court in Pune, however, discharged three officers, including former Mumbai Police Commissioner R S Sharma, on Wednesday.
Telgi, who has now been behind bars for about five years, was first convicted on January 17, 2006. While the scam made the headlines for its uniqueness, Telgi's first sentence of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment was also unique.
His entire trial in that case was conducted via video-conferencing in view of his poor health, security reasons and other logistic problems. Telgi is HIV-positive.
On no occasion was Telgi produced in the Greater Mumbai trial court and the use of video-conferencing was seen as a milestone in the criminal justice system.
In March 2004, the Supreme Court directed the CBI to investigate 48 fake stamp cases spread across 11 states. Less than two years after taking over these cases, the agency achieved its first conviction of Telgi.
On January 17, 2006, Special Judge U D Salvi sentenced Telgi and his two associates -- Sanjay Gaikwad and Ram Ratan Soni -- to imprisonment for 10 years and imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on each of the convicts.
The first sentence this year for Telgi was awarded by a Bangalore court in March 24 in a case related to the fake embossing of stamps on a sale deed of a company. He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and fined Rs 1.5 lakh by the court.
The second sentence was delivered on April 23 in a case in Bangalore, for which Telgi was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years.
The third sentence against Telgi was delivered earlier this month by a court in Bangalore, which sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for seven years and fined him Rs 25 lakh for producing fake medical certificates.