The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the CBI and INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala on a petition seeking directions to the politician to immediately surrender, alleging that he was “misusing” the grace period granted to him by taking part in election rallies in Haryana.
“O P Chautala despite giving an undertaking to the hon’ble High court to surrender by 17.10.2014 is using the intervening period to campaign extensively,” said the plea filed by lawyer Hemant Sharma. The petition also alleged that though Chautala was granted relief on medical grounds, he was violating bail terms by participating in public rallies.
“Why didn’t the CBI take up this issue?” asked Justice Siddharth Mridul, adding that the bail granted to the former Haryana Chief Minister had “already been cancelled”.
CBI counsel Monica Gupta informed the court that the agency was “not in any position to verify” the allegations. Senior advocate Vivek Tankha, appearing for the petitioner, however, said that the schedule of public meetings and rallies to be attended by Chautala between October 2 and October 7 was being published “everywhere”. The plea sought direction to the Haryana leader to immediately return to jail.
Issuing notice to the CBI and Chautala, the Court sought their replies by October 10.
Chautala, who has been convicted and sentenced to a 10-year jail term in a teachers recruitment scam case, was on September 26 asked to surrender by October 17 by the Delhi High Court. He had volunteered to surrender as the court was about to order constitution of a medical board of doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to opine on the necessity of keeping Chautala hospitalised, as he had addressed a rally at Jind in Haryana on September 25.
Citing the October 26 order, the petition alleged that Chautala was “taking the court on a jolly ride” by using the time granted to him to campaign for the forthcoming Haryana elections. With the courts closed till October 9, it remains to be seen whether the plea would have any effect on the INLD’s campaign in Haryana.