HC Seeks Delhi Govt's Reply on O. P. Chautala's Parole Request

New Delhi
HC Seeks Delhi Govt's Reply on O. P. Chautala's Parole Request

The Delhi High Court today sought city government's response on plea by former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, serving a 10-year jail term in teachers' recruitment scam case, seeking 60 days' parole for medical treatment.

Justice Ashutosh Kumar asked the Delhi government to file the status report before January 29 on the plea of Chautala whose appeal against the high court verdict convicting him and sentencing to years in jail was dismissed by the Supreme Court on August 3 last year.

The apex court had which holding them guilty, however, said that the convicts may move the high court with their pleas seeking relief like parole on health grounds.

Chautala, his son Ajay Singh Chautala and three others are serving 10-year jail term in the case.

82-year-old Chautala has sought parole for 60 days for treatment of some problem in his polio-afflicted legs.

The plea stated that on September 8, 2015 Chautala had moved an application to Tihar Jail Superintendent for grant of parole.

"On October 20, 2015, the home department of Delhi government has informed that his plea for parole was dismissed keeping in mind the 2010 parole guidelines as per which there should be a gap of a minimum six months from the date of termination of last parole," it stated.

Senior advocate N Hariharan and advocate Amit Sahni said that INLD leader had last availed one-month parole in May this year, which was later extended till May 28.

They said the "petitioner is polio-affected since his birth and has permanent disability of 60 per cent. He was on bail during the trial and was released on parole, but he has never misused the same."

The six-month period since the last day of his previous parole expired on November 28, 2015, so his plea be allowed by taking a lenient view, the counsel said.

Senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi government, opposed the plea saying the jail has enough facilities for Chautala's treatment.

The high court had on March 5 upheld the jail term awarded to Chautala, his son Ajay and three others, saying, "the overwhelming evidence showed the shocking and spine-chilling state of affairs in the country."

The father-son duo and 53 others, including two IAS officers, were convicted on January 16, 2013 by the trial court for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers in Haryana in 2000.

Besides Chautalas and whistleblower IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, the high court had also awarded 10-year prison term to IAS officer Vidya Dhar, then Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister, and Sher Singh Badshami, then an MLA and political adviser to Chautala senior.

All the 55 convicts have been sentenced under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 418 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of IPC and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The high court had modified the trial court's order on the quantum of sentence and awarded two-year jail term to 50 other convicts.

Initially, there were 62 accused in the case. While two died before filing of the charge sheet, four passed away during the trial of the case and one was discharged by the trial court.

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