OTT Review : Scam 2003: The Telgi Story – Hindi web series on Sony LIV
Scam 2003: The Telgi Story Hindi Movie Review

Release Date : September 01, 2023 Rating : 3/5

Starring: Gagan Dev Riar, Talat Aziz, Sana Amin Sheikh, Hemang Vyas, Sameer Dharmadhikari

Director: Tushar Hiranandani

Producers: Applause Entertainment, Studio NEXT

Music Director: Ishaan Chhabra

Cinematographer: Stanley Mudda

Editor: Kunal Walve

Related Links : Trailer

After the super successful Scam 1992, the makers have now come up with a new show titled Scam 2003. This new series, directed by Tushar Hiranandani, is based on the 2003 Stamp Paper Counterfeiting scandal worth 30,000 crores. The makers got inspired by the book Telgi Scam: Reporter’s Ki Diary. Gagan Dev Riar played Abdul Karim Telgi, the man who committed this scam. Let’s see how the series is.


Abdul Karim Telgi (Gagan Dev Riar) is a small-time fruit vendor, and he is given a receptionist job in a hotel by Shaukat (Talat Aziz). Abdul Telgi falls in love with Nafisa (Sana Amin Sheikh). Abdul Telgi lives in the Gulf for a few years and returns to India. He starts a business where he makes fake documents to help poor people travel to Gulf countries. Abdul gets arrested, and in jail, he comes across Kaushal Jhaveri (Hemang Vyas).

Both start an illegal business, and one day, Abdul Telgi realizes that the stamp paper business is more valuable than anything else. Abdul convinces Kaushal to commence the fake stamp paper business, and the former comes up with a solid plan. While everything is going well, Abdul Telgi lands in an issue that affects his business. What did Abdul do next? How did he manage to carry out such a big scam? This forms the crux of the story.

Plus Points:

The makers deserve special appreciation for bringing into light one of the biggest scams in the country. Though this is a massive scam in terms of monetary value, not many are aware of it, and the show neatly showcases how a fraud of this size was carried out in a detailed manner.

Gagan Dev Riar gave a spectacular performance, and he brought life to Telgi’s character. What catches our attention is the way Gagan Dev portrayed the Abdul Telgi character in a natural manner. His body language, dialogue delivery, and subtle acting are the biggest assets of the show. He is ably supported by Hemang Vyas.

The show has a good message to the audience, which is about greed, and this has been convincingly shown through Hemang’s role. The team did an extensive research on the scam. Abdul Telgi’s journey after being sentenced to jail is presented superbly. Especially the portions related to the Nashik printing press came out quite well and intrigues the viewers.

Minus Points:

The pacing is slow for the most part, and especially the initial couple of episodes could have been way better. While the subject is interesting, the screenplay should have been watertight. The show has a resemblance to the recently released Farzi series, and a few scenes will surely remind us of the Shahid Kapoor and Vijay Sethupathi starrer.

While the makers retained the Scam 1992’s title theme, the show could have been a lot better regarding emotions. The family angle of Telgi isn’t explored well, and there are hardly any scenes that establish Abdul Telgi’s attachment to his family. This is one of the aspects where Scam 1992 is superior than Scam 2003.

Technical Aspects:

The music by Ishaan Chhabra is intriguing. Stanley Mudda’s cinematography is good. The art direction team did a fabulous job of showcasing the bygone era. The production values are solid. The editing could have been far better. The dialogues aren’t that effective.

Coming to the director, Tushar Hiranandani, he did a decent job with the series. Hansal Mehta is the creative director of this show, and his mark is visible in a few scenes. It is somewhat interesting as the makers chose to tell this story in two parts, which might not please everyone. Though the show doesn’t give a wow feeling, it is still decent, with solid performances and some interesting scenes.


On the whole, Scam 2003: The Telgi Story Part 1 is a watchable series with good performances from the cast. It is laudable as the makers have put out such a massive scam related to stamp papers in the open. While the subject is interesting, the screenplay and pacing could have been still better. It needs to be seen what the second part has in store for us. Rating: 3/5

Reviewed by 123telugu Team

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