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Cr.P.C. section modified for Telgi case

By B.S. Ramesh

BANGALORE, MARCH 3. In a significant development, the State Government has modified Section 268 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C.) under which Abdul Kareem Telgi, the prime accused in the stamp paper racket, could be kept prisoner in Karnataka.

Highly placed sources in the Law Department told The Hindu on Wednesday that a Government Order modifying the section was passed by the Home Department on January 7, 2004. They said that on February 21, 2003, the State decided to hold Telgi under Section 268 of the Cr.P.C. The order confined Telgi to the Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara in Bangalore. More importantly, it ensured that Telgi could not be shifted from the premises until the section was in force.

The order was passed after the Stamp Investigation Team (STAMPIT) headed by the Additional Director-General of Police, R. Sri Kumar, wrote to the Government on January 24, 2001, urging it to hold Telgi under Section 268 of the Cr.P.C. The section empowers the State to confine or detain persons and exclude them from the operation of Section 267 of the Cr.P.C. (power to require attendance of prisoners). Persons held under this section cannot be taken away or moved from the place in which they are confined. As long as Section 268 remains, no order under Section 267 of the Cr.P.C. has any effect.

Sources said the State had modified the section as it had decided, on December 26, 2003, to hand over the fake stamp paper cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Subsequently, a notification giving the State's consent to hand over the cases to the CBI was issued under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. Although the CBI has not yet indicated the cases which it would like to investigate, the State has partly modified Section 268 to ensure that the CBI can question or interrogate Telgi only in respect of the cases in Karnataka.

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