Business Standard

Chautala's plea for early release: HC asks LG to take decision by April 12


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court Friday asked the Lieutenant Governor to take a decision by April 12 on the plea for premature release of former Haryana chief minister O P Chautala, who is serving a 10-year jail term in the JBT teachers' recruitment scam.
A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Vinod Goel asked the Tihar Jail Superintendent to communicate the LG's decision to Chautala by April 12 and disposed of his application for premature release.
The direction came after Delhi government's standing counsel (criminal) Rahul Mehra and advocate Chaitanya Gosain, appearing for the Home department, said the politician's case has been considered by an expert committee whose recommendations have been sent to the LG for final decision.
The order was passed on Chautala's application claiming that the Delhi government has not complied with the high court's February 20 direction to decide his representation for premature release within four weeks.
Chautala, represented by senior advocate N Hariharan and advocate Amit Sahni, has sought that he be released from prison in accordance with the Centre's policy for grant of special remission to prisoners.
According to a central government notification of July 18, 2018, the special remission has to be given to women and transgender convicts of 55 years of age who have completed half of their actual jail term as also male convicts of 60 years of age who have completed half of their sentence period.
The relief has to be given to physically challenged or differently-abled prisoners with 70 per cent disability and more and who have completed half of their actual jail term, those who are terminally ill and the convicts who have completed two-third of their jail term, it said.
However, the special remission will not be given to those convicted for heinous offences or under POTA, UAPA, TADA, POCSO Act, PMLA, FEMA, NDPS and Prevention of Corruption Act.
Chautala (83), in his plea, has contended that he should be considered for premature release considering his age and disability as also the period of seven years, with remission, already undergone by him in jail.
Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala and 53 others, including IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar, were convicted and sentenced in the case of illegal recruitment of 3,206 junior basic teachers (JBT) in 2000.
All of them were sentenced to varying jail terms in the case by a special CBI court in January, 2013.
Kumar, the then director of primary education in Haryana, had initially exposed the scam after he had filed a plea in the Supreme Court. Later, he was also found to be involved in the scam during a CBI probe.
Chautala's former officer on special duty Vidya Dhar and political advisor to then Haryana chief minister Sher Singh Badshami were also given 10-year jail terms.
The others who were given 10-year jail terms are Madan Lal Kalra, Durga Dutt Pradhan, Bani Singh, Ram Singh and Daya Saini.
Apart from them, one convict was handed a five-year jail sentence and the remaining 44 were given four years of imprisonment.
Among the 55 convicts, 16 were women officials.

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First Published: Mar 29 2019 | 7:30 PM IST

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