Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was sentenced to four years in prison in a disproportionate assets case before the CBI court in Delhi.
The minister will also face a Rs 50 lakh penalties.
On May 26, special judge Vikas Dhull heard arguments from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Om Prakash Chautala, who was convicted in the case of obtaining disproportionate assets from 1993 to 2006.
The minister had sought the Delhi court to impose the minimal punishment due to his physical conditions and advanced age, as opposed to the CBI, which had requested the harshest punishment in order to send a message to society.
“In this situation, the offender is a public figure, and a light sentence would send the incorrect message.”
In this scenario, the defendant is a public figure, and a light sentence would send the incorrect impression. He does not have a clean record. “This is the second time he has been convicted,” the CBI stated.
Last Thursday, Special Judge (PC Act) Vikas Dhull condemned Chautala, saying the accused had failed to explain satisfactorily for such disproportionality by showing his source of income or ways by which he acquired assets during this period.
“As a result, 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,” ruled the court.
According to the CBI’s FIR, accused Om Prakash Chautala, while serving as Chief Minister of Haryana from July 24, 1999 to March 5, 2005, accumulated assets, immovable and movable, disproportionate to his known lawful sources of income, in his name, the names of his family members, and others, totaling Rs 1,467 crores.
The accused amassed enormous wealth and invested it throughout the country in the form of thousands of acres of land, multi-complexes, palatial residential houses, hotels, farmhouses, business agencies, petrol pumps, and other investments, in addition to investments in foreign countries, according to the FIR.
As a result, the CBI charged the accused with the offence under the relevant section of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Apart from the chargesheet filed against the accused OP Chautala, the CBI filed two more charge sheets arising from the current FIR, against the accused’s sons, namely Abhay Singh Chautala and Ajay Singh Chautala, and others, who are being tried separately.
Om Prakash Chautala is the son of sixth Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal and a former Chief Minister of Haryana from the Indian National Lok Dal. After completing the necessary requirements, Chautala was released from Tihar Jail on July 2, 2021, after serving a 10-year prison sentence.
In June 2008, he and 53 others were charged in connection with the appointment of 3,206 junior basic teachers in Haryana between 1999-2000. A Delhi court sentenced Chautala and his son Ajay Singh Chautala to ten years in prison in January 2013 under several provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.