Disproportionate assets case: Delhi HC reserves order on OP Chautala's plea for suspension of sentence

On May 27, the trial court had convicted the former Haryana CM and awarded a four-year jail term to him while also imposing a fine of Rs 50 lakh for acquiring disproportionate assets from 1993 to 2006

PTIUpdated: Monday, August 01, 2022, 02:06 PM IST
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Former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala | PTI

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday reserved order on a plea by former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala seeking suspension of the four-year sentence imposed on him in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.

"We will pass appropriate order," said Justice Yogesh Khanna after the politician, represented by senior advocate N Hariharan, argued that he should be released during the pendency of his appeal challenging his conviction and sentence in the case.

On May 27, the trial court had convicted Chautala and awarded a four-year jail term to him while also imposing a fine of Rs 50 lakh for acquiring disproportionate assets from 1993 to 2006.

"He is 88 (year old) and the appeal cannot be decided in one go," submitted Hariharan before the high court.

Chautala, who earlier told the court that he has already sent five years in prison in connection with the case, said "he is entitled to bail otherwise also" as he has spent a "substantial period" in custody and the disposal of the appeal would take a considerable time.

Advocate Anupam Sharma, representing the CBI, opposed Chautala's plea for suspension of sentence.

The high court had last month issued notice on the appeal and called for Chautala's jail record before it to decide the issue of his release during the pendency of the appeal.

While convicting Chautala, Special Judge Vikas Dhull had said the accused had failed to satisfactorily account for such dis-proportionality by proving his source of income or means by way of which, he acquired assets during this period.

The trial court had also directed authorities concerned to confiscate four of his properties.

The CBI had filed the case in 2005, and a charge sheet was filed on March 26, 2010, accusing him of amassing assets disproportionate to his legitimate income between 1993 and 2006.

According to the CBI's FIR, Chautala, while functioning as chief minister of Haryana from July 24, 1999, to March 5, 2005, in collusion with his family members and others, accumulated assets, immovable and movable, disproportionate to his known lawful sources of income, in his name and in the names of his family members.

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