CBI today contended before the Delhi High Court that former Haryana Chief Minister O P Chautala was the "main conspirator" in the junior basic trained (JBT) teachers' recruitment scam of 2000.
Opposing the bail plea of Chautala, jailed for 10 years in the scam, Solicitor General (SG) Mohan Parasaran, who argued for CBI, submitted before Justice Mukta Gupta that Chautala was "the main conspirator and others (accused) had followed his instructions."
Referring to the trial court findings against Chautala, the senior law officer said soon after Chautala became the CM in July 1999 and had simultaneously taken over the additional charge as Education Minister, the conspiracy had begun with the cabinet meeting under his leadership.
He argued that in September 1999, the cabinet led by Chautala had taken the decision to take away the recruitment process from the purview of Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) and it was handed over to the Directorate of Primary Education for the recruitment through district-level selection committees (DLSCs).
The previous government in the state had taken the initiative for largescale recruitment of JBT teachers and the work was assigned to HSSC, he added.
Parasaran also contended the issue was not on the agenda but the cabinet had taken the decision.
On January 22, the trial court had convicted and sentenced Chautala and nine others to ten years jail-term for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers in 2000.
Parasaran had argued yesterday that another crucial part of the conspiracy was the removal of officers who came in the way of executing the plan.
"When the then Director of Primary Education, R P Chandra, had moved the proposal to declare the results in April 2000, he was transferred and thereafter, Rajni Sikri Sibal was brought in as Director of Primary Education. When she had recommended compilation of results with genuine candidates in June, 2000, she was also transferred," the lawyer had said.
In addition, in July 2000, IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar was appointed in her place with the object of changing the list of genuine candidates, he had said and referred to CBI's stand before the Supreme Court on Kumar's PIL in which he had claimed himself as a whistle blower and sought an inquiry into the entire case.
Earlier, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Chautala's counsel had argued before the court that the cabinet had twice held meetings in 1999 on the teachers recruitment policy but only the Chief Minister was held responsible.
"The trial court had failed to appreciate that it was the entire Council of Ministers which is responsible for a cabinet decision and not any one minister," Chautala's lawyer had said.
78 year-old Chautala, his MLA son Ajay Chautala and 53 others, including two IAS officers, were convicted on January 16 by the trial court in the case.
The senior Chautala, who was held as the "main conspirator" of the scam by the court, was found guilty of cheating, forgery, using fake documents as genuine and conspiracy under IPC and of abusing his official position under the Prevention of Corruption Act.