Convicted former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala's place is in jail and he cannot enjoy hospitality of the hospital, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said, rejecting his plea for extension of interim bail granted on medical grounds in the teachers' recruitment scam.
The apex court, which took into account the report of the medical board of All India Institute of Medical Sciences that Chautala's "presence is not required in the hospital," said, "the moment big personalities are convicted, they spend more time in hospital than in prison" but when they are seated at the place of power they never say they will not take the power because they are suffering from high-sounding diseases.
While extending from September 17 to September 23, the time given to 78-year-old Chautala for surrender before jail authorities without failure, a bench of justices H L Dattu and S J Mukhopadhaya, said, "Today you are fit and your place is in a particular place. You stay there and take rest. You go and take medical treatment there.
"Right from the beginning you are enjoying the hospitality at the hospital. At the end of the day there is an order of conviction against you.”
"For us, status is nothing. He is a convict on interim bail. The medical board of a reputed hospital says his stay in the hospital is not required. The Delhi high court has considered the report of medical board for not extending his interim bail," the bench said when senior advocate U U Lalit argued that Chautala's health condition should be considered.
The bench, which directed the jail authorities to "give proper, effective, efficient and expert medical assistance if required by Chautala", said there are so many convicts who remain in jail and suffer from ailments like him.
"Otherwise, jails would be only for healthy people," it said. The judges were also perturbed over the Delhi high court giving priority in hearing the appeal filed by the Indian National Lok Dal chief, saying there are pending criminal appeals in the apex court and "people with death sentence are waiting for (disposal) of their appeals filed in 2005".