Om Prakash Chautala
Om Prakash Chautala

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today sought the response of CBI and former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala on a plea for directions to the politician to immediately surrender.

Justice Siddharth Mridul issued notice to CBI and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader after senior advocate Vivek Tankha appearing for the petitioner lawyer contended that Chautala intends to “misuse the grace period of 17 days given to him to surrender” by planning to campaign during that period.

Tankha also said Chautala has released a tour programme of his campaign which has been published in news reports.

While issuing notice to CBI and Chautala, the court questioned, “Why has CBI not taken note of all this (election campaign)? CBI does not seem to be aggrieved by this.”

The court also questioned the maintainability of the application.

The matter was earlier in the day mentioned before a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul which had directed it to be listed before the court concerned.

Chautala, who has been convicted and sentenced to 10 years jail term in a teachers recruitment scam case, had, on September 26, volunteered to surrender after which the court had directed him to surrender by October 17.

He had volunteered to surrender as the court was about to order constitution of a medical board of doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to opine on the necessity of keeping Chautala hospitalised, as he had addressed a rally at Jind in Haryana on September 25.

The plea by advocate Hemant Sharma contends that the INLD leader intends to use the intervening period before his surrender “to campaign extensively in the state of Haryana”.

The petition also contended that Chautala is “misusing the orders of the court and taking the court for a jolly ride, thereby abusing the process of law”.

According to the petition, Chautala was granted bail on medical grounds on May 21, 2013 and since then he has been out by extending it on the same ground.

On July 11, 2014, the high court had reserved its verdict on the appeals of 55 convicts, including the Chautalas, in the JBT scam case.

A special CBI court on January 22, 2013 had 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.

Among other convicts, 44 were sentenced to four years in jail and one given a five-year jail term.     All of them were held guilty of cheating, forgery, using fake documents as genuine, conspiracy under IPC and of abusing their official position under Prevention of Corruption Act.

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