The Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi will pronounce its order on the sentence on Friday tomorrow against former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala in a disproportionate assets (DA) case filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Special Judge Vikas Dhull on Thursday after concluding the arguments of both sides said, the order on sentences will be passed tomorrow at 2 pm.
During the argument, OP Chautala physically appeared and remained present in the courtroom.
Appearing for OP Chautala, Advocate Harsh Sharma cited medical grounds for less punishment and submitted that I (OP Chautala) have been infected with polio since birth, and I am partially disabled.
Chautala is accused of acquiring disproportionate assets during 1993-2006. This time is more than 20 years. In the meantime, he has always cooperated in the investigation, Advocate Sharma argued.
CBI’s Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Gupta opposed the submissions of Chautala’s lawyer for a grant of concession on the ground of ill health and age.
CBI urged the court for maximum punishment shall be given as it would send a message to the society.
“The person, in this case, is a public figure and giving minimum punishment would send a wrong message. He is not having clean antecedents. It is the second case in which he has been convicted,” CBI said.
Special Judge (PC Act) Vikas Dhull last week had convicted Chautala and said the accused had failed to satisfactorily account for such dis-proportionality by proving his source of income or means by way of which, he acquired assets during this period.
“Hence, accused Om Prakash Chautala is convicted for the offence under Section 13(1)(e) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Put up 26.05.2022 at 10.00 a.m. for arguments on the point of sentence,” said the court
According to the CBI’s FIR accused Om Prakash Chautala, while functioning as Chief Minister of Haryana during the period from July 24, 1999 to March 5, 2005, in collusion with his family members and others, accumulated assets, immovable and movable, disproportionate to his known lawful sources of income, in his name, in the names of his family members and others to the extent of Rs.1,467 crores.
FIR further stated that the accused accumulated enormous wealth and invested the same throughout the country in the shape of thousands of acres of land, multi complexes, palatial residential houses, hotels, farmhouses, business agencies, petrol pumps and other investments apart from investments in foreign countries.
FIR also stated that 43 immovable properties in all, apart from cash and jewellery were accumulated. Apart from 43 alleged properties listed in the FIR, additional properties were also suspected to be of the accused family.
An investigation with regard to additional properties was also conducted for ascertaining the link of the accused family with the said properties.
The chargesheet filed in the matter after the conclusion of the investigation stated that accused OP Chautala had acquired assets, both immovable and movable, which were disproportionate to his known source of income.
The disproportionate assets were calculated to be Rs 6,09,79,026 (Rupees Six Crores Nine Lacs Seventy Nine Thousand and Twenty Six only) and the percentage of DA (Disproportionate Assets) was 189.11 per cent of his known sources of income.
Accordingly, CBI had chargesheeted the accused for the offence under Section 13(1)(e) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Apart from the charge sheet filed against the accused OP Chautala, the CBI had filed two more charge sheets arising out of the present FIR, against the sons of the accused i.e. Abhay Singh Chautala and Ajay Singh Chautala and others, which are being tried separately.
Om Prakash Chautala is a former Chief Minister of Haryana from the Indian National Lok Dal and son of sixth Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal.
Chautala was recently released from the Tihar Jail on July 2, 2021, from a 10 years prison sentence after completing the due formalities.
He and 53 others, in June 2008, were charged in connection with the appointment of 3,206 junior basic teachers in the state of Haryana during 1999-2000.
In January 2013, a New Delhi court sentenced Chautala and his son Ajay Singh Chautala to 10 years’ imprisonment under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act. (ANI)