Kingpin of the fake stamp paper scam, Abdul Karim Telgi died at Bengaluruâ€™s Victoria Hospital on Thursday at 3:55 pm due to multiple organ failure. Telgi was HIV positive.
Sources told TNM that he was admitted at Victoria Hospital with meningitis last week.
Telgi has been lodged at Bengaluruâ€™s Parappana Agrahara jail. Recently, former DIG (Prisons) D Roopa had alleged that Telgi was on among several prisoners who received special treatment. In her report, she had claimed that Telgi received special massages from three or four convicts allotted to him.
Hailing from Belgaum in Karnataka, Telgi was the son of a railway employee. It was in the 1980s that Telgi moved to Mumbai, where he developed links with the underworld, reported Times of India. In 1991 he was arrested for cheating and it was during his time in jail that he learnt forgery from a fellow inmate.
After acquiring a stamp paper license in 1994, he began printing fake stamp paper.
Spread over 11 states, the fake stamp paper scam was estimated at Rs 20,000 crore and took place between 1992 and 2002.
He was eventually arrested in August 2001.
In 2004, the Supreme Court directed the CBI to investigate the scam.
Telgi was first convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment. Since then, he has been convicted in four different cases.
In 2007, Telgi was sentenced to 13 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 202 crore in the multi-crore stamp paper scam. He was convicted under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and Indian Penal Code 120 (criminal conspiracy).
The case was filed in June 2003, and led to the recovery of fake stamp papers worth Rs 2,200 crore from Bhiwandi and Rs 800 crore from Cuffe Parade.
Telgi pleaded guilty in court, and asked for leniency since he was the "only breadwinner of the family."
â€œMadam, I am suffering from various ailments which have no cure (a reference to his HIV-positive status). It is only after consulting my wife that I have decided to face the world," Telgi told the court, according to a report in Hindustan Times by Yogesh Joshi.