In a major blow to former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, the Delhi High Court on Friday denied bail to him in connection with the JBT teachers scam.
According to reports, the veteran Haryana leader had challenging his conviction and 10 years sentence for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers 12 years ago and sought bail on health grounds.
He was seeking an interim relief from the state high court on medical grounds. Meanwhile, the high court fixed April 4 as the next date for hearing in case.
Chautala, 78-year-old chief of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), who was sent to Tihar Jail after his conviction, had on February 7 sought suspension of his jail term on the ground that “he is unwell and suffering from various ailments”.
While seeking urgent hearing of his appeal, he contended that the order of the trial court is liable to be set aside as “it was against the tenets of law as well as contrary to the evidence.”
Chautala further said, “The present case is false, fictitious and subsumed with political overtones” and he ought not to be put to such great prejudice and hardship due to his conviction and incarceration during the pendency of the accompanying appeal, which is unlikely to be disposed of expeditiously.
“The trial court has failed to appreciate that in a democratic set up and under the principles of collective responsibility, it is the entire Council of Ministers which is responsible for a Cabinet decision and not any one Minister,” his counsel said.
The INLD chief, his MLA son Ajay Chautala and 53 others including two IAS officers were convicted on January 16 by the trial court for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers in Haryana in 2000.
The senior Chautala, who was held as the “main conspirator” of the scam by the court, was found guilty of cheating, forgery, using fake documents as genuine and conspiracy under the IPC and for abusing his official position under the Prevention of Corruption Act.