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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

OP Chautala granted interim bail for 21 days

PTI   New Delhi, June 03, 2014
First Published: 17:37 IST(3/6/2014) | Last Updated: 17:43 IST(3/6/2014)

The Delhi high court on Tuesday granted three weeks' interim bail to former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, serving a 10-year jail term in teachers recruitment case, for carrying out post-cremation rituals of his brother who died on Sunday.

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Justice Kailash Gambhir set 79-year-old Chautala free on interim bail for 21 days while asking him to furnish a personal bond of Rs. five lakh with two sureties of the like amount.

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader had yesterday attended the cremation of his younger brother Pratap Singh, son of late Devi Lal, at his native village in Haryana under custody of Tihar jail authorities.

"There is no dispute that the appellant's (OP Chautala) younger brother (Pratap Singh Chautala) has expired. There is also no dispute that OP Chautala is the eldest surviving member of the Chautala family. Last rites will be performed by Jitendra Singh, eldest son of late Pratap Singh, at native village...in Sirsa, Haryana.

"As per family tradition, presence of eldest member is socially desirable while performance of last rites," the judge said.

The high court had yesterday sought CBI's response on Chautala's plea seeking six weeks' interim bail to attend funeral and perform other rituals of his younger brother.

CBI, which was asked to file its reply on Chautala's plea, did not oppose it but requested the judge to reduce the time period from 21 to 12 days.

It also urged the court to impose conditions on Chautala so that he may not flee from justice.

The court had yesterday also asked CBI to verify what ceremonies were required to be performed by Chautala and had directed it to file a status report this afternoon.

CBI had earlier opposed Chautala's plea for six weeks interim bail saying he has already been allowed to attend the funeral in police custody and perform the last rites of his younger brother.

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