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Job scam: Chautala moves HC against conviction, sentence
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, February 7
Om Prakash Chautala today moved the Delhi High Court challenging his conviction and the 10-year sentence awarded to him for corruption, cheating and forgery in the recruitment of 3,032 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers in 1999-2000 when he was Haryana’s Chief Minister.

Citing poor health and various ailments, the 78-year-old Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has also sought suspension of his jail term, pending disposal of his appeal. A CBI court here sentenced him and his son, Ajay, to 10-year imprisonment on January 22, 2013 following which they were lodged in Tihar jail.

In the appeal, Chautala contended that the false and fictitious case had political overtones and his continued incarceration, would be against the interest of justice.

Further, the trial court had failed to appreciate that the decision on the recruitment of junior basic trained (JBT) teachers was taken by the entire council of Ministers. The CBI court had singled him out in the case which was not proper. “It is a settled principle that in a Cabinet, the Chief Minister is only first among equals,” he said in the appeal, filed through advocate Siddharth Aggarwal. In all, the CBI court had convicted and sentenced 55 accused in the case. The CBI had prosecuted 62 politicians and officials of whom six had died during the trial while one person was discharged at the time of framing of charges by the trial court.

Among the main accused sentenced to 10 years are IAS officers Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, and Vidya Dhar, the then Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Chautala, and Sher Singh Badshami, the then political advisor to the CM and a sitting MLA at present. All the accused have been convicted and sentenced under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 418 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (use of forged documents as genuine) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 13(1)(d) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), 1988.

As part of the conspiracy, hatched in Haryana Bhavan here and in Chandigarh, the Chautala government had replaced the original list containing the successful candidates with a fake list after transferring an IAS officer RP Chander, the then Primary Education Director who had prepared the first list. Another IAS officer Rajni Shekri Sibal, who replaced Chander, was asked by accused Badshami and Vidya Dhar in the presence of Ajay Chautala to change the list. Both Chander and Sibal became CBI witnesses later.

On the plea of Sanjiv Kumar, who claimed he was the whistleblower in the case, the Supreme Court had directed the CBI to conduct the investigation into the scam. The CBI, however, did not spare him, contending that its probe had shown him to be a partner in the crime. 





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