Assets case: Court allows CBI 80 new witnesses against Chautala

A city court on Monday allowed a plea by the CBI to bring additional witnesses and several documents as additional evidence against former Haryana chief minister O P Chautala in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: April 11, 2014 6:04:42 pm

A city court on Monday allowed a plea by the CBI to bring additional witnesses and several documents as additional evidence against former Haryana chief minister O P Chautala in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.

Special CBI Judge Manu Rai Sethi allowed the agency’s plea to lead 80 additional prosecution witnesses and 15 documents which the agency claimed could not be filed earlier due to “inadvertence”.

The agency had previously listed 37 witnesses and over 78 documents in the chargesheet filed against the INLD leader in March 2010. The CBI had registered a case of disproportionate assets against O P Chautala and his sons Ajay and Abhay on a complaint of Congress leader Shamsher Singh Surjewala. In its chargesheet,the probe agency also accused Chautala of possessing 189 per cent more assets than his legal income between 1993-2006.

The fresh witnesses include several names from the income-tax department,NDMC,Haryana Vidhan Sabha secretariat officials,BSNL and CBI officials,among others. The Additional Commissioner of Income Tax at Chandigarh and two director level officials from the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) are also included in the list of witnesses.

Allowing CBI’s plea,the court held,“In considered opinion of this court,the chargesheet filed by probe agency cannot be deemed to be a document which cannot later on be supplemented.”

Opposing CBI’s plea,Chautala’s counsel Harish Sharma had argued that “great prejudice would be caused” to his client if CBI’s plea was allowed since “it would mean ‘facing a new trial.”

The court,however,held that in case the additional documents sought to be placed on record by the CBI related to any prosecution witness already examined,the defence would be at liberty to recall that witness for further cross examination.

“In case there is any lapse on part of Investigating Officer or even of the investigating agency in not placing on record complete list of witnesses and documents at the initial stage,obviously,prosecution should not be made to suffer for the same….,” said the court.

Ex-cm operated upon at medanta,gets pacemaker

Chandigarh: Former Haryana chief minister and INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala on Monday underwent a pacemaker surgery at Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon. The surgery was successful,said INLD leaders.

A team of doctors headed by Dr Balbir Singh operated upon Chautala under the supervision of Dr Naresh Trehan. The operation began about 10 am and went on for an hour. Following the surgery,Chautala was shifted to the ICU ward where his son and Ellanabad MLA Abhay Chautala and grandsons Dushyant and Digvijay Chautala met him.

“He is feeling better and the doctors have told us that the operation was successful. He is going to get better in the coming few days. When I went to meet him,he was reading a newspaper and looked fine. Haryana’s former Governor Chaudhary Sultan Singh had also come to meet him,but at that time he was admitted in ICU post surgery,” Dushyant said.

Chautala,who was convicted by a Delhi CBI court in the JBT teachers recruitment case,was released by the court on an interim bail for six weeks for being treated at Medanta. Since May 22,Chautala has been admitted at Medanta.

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