The Delhi high court on Wednesday issued notices to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala on a plea for directions to the politician to surrender immediately. Chautala, who is out on bail after being convicted and sentenced in the teachers’ recruitment scam, was directed by the HC last week to surrender by October 17.
Senior advocate Vivek Tankha, appearing for Gurgaon-based lawyer Hemant Sharma, contended that Chautala intended to “misuse the grace period of 17 days given to him to surrender” by planning to campaign during that period. The Haryana assembly elections will be held on October 15.
Justice Siddharth Mridul expressed strong displeasure at the CBI for failing to notify the court on the issue. “His (Chautala’s) bail was cancelled for campaigning in Jind last month. Why has the CBI not taken note of all this (election campaign)? The CBI does not seem to be aggrieved by this,” the HC said. The court has posted the matter for further hearing on October 10.
The PIL also said Chautala had released a tour programme of his campaign which had appeared in news reports. It also contended that the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader intended to use the intervening period before his surrender “to campaign extensively in Haryana.”
Chautala, who was first granted interim bail on May 21, 2013, has been getting extension of bail on the ground that he is currently admitted in the ICU (intensive care unit) of Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon due to bad health.
On July 11, 2014, the HC had reserved its verdict on the appeals of 55 convicts, including Chautala, in the recruitment scam.
A special CBI court had on January 22, 2013, convicted and sentenced Chautala, his son Ajay and eight others to 10-year jail term each for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers in 2000.