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CBI recommends graft case against Chautala

Source: PTI
September 05, 2012 22:55 IST
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The Central Bureau of Investigation has recommended registration of corruption case against former Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala for alleged irregularities in selection of candidates to the state Civil Services Executive Branch in 2003-04, the Supreme Court was on Wednesday informed.

A bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir would examined the report on October 10.

In a status report recently submitted before the bench, CBI has also recommended similar proceedings against ex-Transport Minister Ashok Kumar Arora; Sunil Ahuja, then chief secretary; BD Dhalia, the then private secretary to the CM; KC Sharma, IAS, the then revenue secretary; RN Parashar, the then finance commissioner, transport; AN Mathur, the then chief secretary, Haryana, and certain others.

According to the agency, the preliminary enquiry conducted by it showed that INLD chief Chautala had arbitrarily raised the age limit from 45 to 50 and reduced the minimum work experience from five to three years with a "deliberate intent, with the sole objective of favouring certain candidates as part of a criminal conspiracy."

The agency said there was no justifiable grounds to relax the eligibility criteria as "more than required number of eligible candidates were available under the then existing norms -- 45 years and five years of work experience..

"As such, the action of the then Chief Minister Sh Om Parkash Chautala and his PS Sh BD Dhalia can be seen as clearly malafide taken to favour certain candidates including Sh BD Dhalia's son who would have been rendered ineligible to qualify as per the existing criteria," the CBI said.

The Punjab and Haryana high court had on September 1, 2005, ordered a CBI probe on petitions filed by some of the candidates following which the CBI registered a preliminary enquiry on October 18, 2005.

The aggrieved Haryana Public Service Commission then appealed in the apex court.

Earlier, a committee headed by the chief secretary had recommended 15 tehsildars, a district revenue officer to the Haryana Public Service Commission for appointment to the HCS Executive Branch, ignoring the claims of those who had better annual confidential report gradings.

Chautala had approved the recommendations as chief minister.

The agency said it clearly implied that the then chief minister was aware of the whole thing and hence cannot escape liability.

Chautala was aware of the recommendations and "hence cannot escape ultimate responsibility for approving non-deserving candidates," the agency said.

The list of candidates had been submitted to HPSC on September 27, 2004.

The CBI said its enquiry into another batch of appointments showed that the then Transport Minister AK Arora, Financial Commissioner RN Parashar and Principal Secretary (Transport) DL Sihag and another had entered into a criminal conspiracy for giving undue benefit to an undeserving candidate.

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