New Delhi, May 27
A special CBI court in Delhi today sentenced former Haryana CM and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Om Prakash Chautala to four-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) and imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.
The INLD chief has served as the Chief Minister of Haryana four times, the last time from July 24, 1999, to March 5, 2005. The CBI filed a chargesheet against Chautala on March 26, 2010, accusing him of amassing assets worth over Rs 6.09 crore between 1993 and 2006 which exceeded his known sources of income.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had attached his assets worth Rs 3.68 crore, including a flat and plots in New Delhi, Panchkula and Sirsa in 2019.
CBI Special Judge Vikas Dhull, who convicted Chautala on May 21, today pronounced the four-year RI and Rs 50-lakh fine. He also directed the authorities concerned to confiscate four of Chautala’s properties.
The counsel for Chautala sought a lenient view by submitting that the former CM was 90 per cent disabled and was suffering from an infection in the lungs. He pleaded that the sentence the INLD chief had served in an earlier teachers’ recruitment scam should be considered.
The CBI counsel, however, opposed the plea by arguing that any leniency would send out a wrong message to society. According to the CBI’s FIR, Chautala, while serving as the CM from 1999 to 2005, in collusion with his family members and others, accumulated assets disproportionate to his known lawful sources of income in his name and in the names of his family members.
The disproportionate assets were calculated to be Rs 6.09 crore, 189.11 per cent of his known sources of income by the CBI, but the trial court found the accused guilty for possessing DA to the tune of Rs 2.81 crore (103%), the agency said in a statement.
Meanwhile, in a rare instance, the special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation directed the Indian National Lok Dal chief Chautala to pay Rs 5 lakh to the probe agency in “defraying the expenses incurred” in the investigation.
“Out of the said fine (of Rs 50 lakh), Rs 5 Lakh shall be given to the CBI in defraying the expenses incurred in the prosecution and investigation. In the event of default in the payment of fine, the convict shall further undergo simple imprisonment for six months,” the court said.
“I have not heard of a convict in a corruption case being directed by the court to pay for the costs incurred on the investigation. It is a welcome move,” an official said.
April 3, 2006: CBI files FIR
March 26, 2010: Chargesheet in special court
May 21, 2022: Haryana’s former CM found guilty
May 27: Punishment awarded
Back to Tihar jail after 10 months
- OP Chautala (87) reached Tihar Jail around 7 pm on Friday.
- He will be lodged in Jail No. 2 along with 2 other inmates.
- INLD chief walked free from Jail No. 2 on July 2 last year after serving 10-year term in a recruitment scam.
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