The Delhi High Court today granted two-week parole to INLD chief O P Chautala, serving a ten-year jail term in a teachers recruitment scam case, to look after his ailing wife. Justice Mukta Gupta, however, restrained the former Haryana chief minister from involving in any other activity and also stopped him from moving out of Sirsa where his wife is admitted in a hospital.
While granting the relief, the court asked him to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the like amount. “He should confine himself to the hospital at Sirsa where his wife is admitted and is in ICU, unless she is shifted to other hospital out of that place,” the court said.
It further said that Chautala should ensure that he will not indulge himself in any activity except the reason for which he has been granted two weeks parole. In the petition filed through advocate Amit Sahni, the 82-year-old leader had said that his wife Sneh Lata was critically ill and was hospitalised at Sirsa in Haryana and that he wanted to spend time with his wife “in her last days”.
Delhi Police standing counsel Rahul Mehra vehemently opposed his parole plea, saying the court had earlier cancelled Chautala’s parole and furlough on the ground that he was attending political rallies. He further said there were other family members to take care of the ailing woman. The court, however, observed that the order by which his parole and furlough was cancelled was appealed before a division bench which had asked the authority to consider Chautala’s request when he applies in future.
It also said that after that the March order, he was granted furlough twice and has not misused it. The court also said there was no dispute that his wife was ill and he needed to visit her. The court had earlier asked Chautala to substantiate his claim of seeking two-month parole to look after his ailing wife by producing her recent medical records.
The plea has said the leader was last granted parole earlier this year and he was entitled to get parole as per parole and furlough guidelines, which stipulate that a minimum of six months should elapse after the date of termination of the previous parole. The high court had on March 1 cancelled the parole granted to Chautala on medical grounds and asked him to “surrender forthwith”, saying he cocked a snook at the court and “misled” it by feigning illness. It had then said that Chautala was misusing his parole to attend public meetings. Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala and three others are serving 10-year jail term in the case.
The Supreme Court in August 2015 had dismissed Chautalas’ appeals against the high court verdict upholding their conviction and sentence of 10 years awarded by a trial court in the junior basic trained teachers recruitment scam case. The father-son duo and 53 others, including two IAS officers, were among 55 persons convicted on January 16, 2013 by the trial court for illegally recruiting 3,206 JBT teachers in Haryana in 2000.