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Om Prakash Chautala: 6.09 crore disproportionate assets case in which Om Prakash Chautala convicted, read inside story

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Chandigarh: Om Prakash Chautala, four-time CM of Haryana, was recently convicted by the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi in the disproportionate assets case (OP Chautala disproportionate assets case). The INLD chief was accused of amassing assets worth over Rs 6.09 crore from undisclosed sources between 1993 and 2006. Special Judge (PC Act) (CBI) Vikas Dhul fixed May 26 as the date for framing the sentence.

This is the same case during which Chautala was once seen upset in the court for not having his turban tied properly. He took permission from the court and came out and first fixed the turban and then came before the judge. In this case, CBI was represented by Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Gupta and Advocate Harsh Kumar Sharma appeared for the defense along with others.

Read: Former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala convicted in disproportionate assets case

On May 19, the arguments of both the sides were over, after which the court had reserved its decision. On Saturday, the court, while hearing the case, convicted Chautala. Chautala was also present in the court at that time.

Case in 2005, charge sheet filed in 2010
The CBI had registered a case against Om Prakash Chautala in 2005. The CBI had filed its charge sheet in the case on 26 March 2010. In this, the 87-year-old Chautala was alleged to have amassed assets worth Rs 6.09 crore between 1993 and 2006 from undisclosed sources apart from his statutory sources of income. This was the time when Chautala was handling the administration of Haryana as Chief Minister.

According to the probe agency, Chautala had meanwhile built a farm house in Delhi’s Asola village at a cost of Rs 95 lakh. During the hearing, the defense had refuted the allegation and argued that the land concerned is agricultural land and there is no farm house on it. Both the sons of Chautala are also accused of making disproportionate assets.

Illegal earning of 6.09 crores while being a public servant
Former Haryana Chief Minister and Indian National Lok Dal supremo Om Prakash Chautala has been convicted in the disproportionate assets case. On 26 March 2010, the CBI had filed a charge sheet against Chautala. The CBI argued that as a public servant, between May 24, 1993 and May 31, 2006, Chautala had amassed assets worth Rs 6.09 crore, which was much more than his legitimate income.

Bought three properties with illegal income
The probe into the case under the Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was initiated by the ED alleging that the money generated by Chautala while working as a public servant was illegal and was used by him to buy properties. The court said that prima facie, as per the evidence available on record, the accused used the illegal proceeds to buy three properties and Rs 95 lakh was used for construction.

Assets worth Rs 3.68 crore attached
In 2019, the ED attached Chautala’s assets worth Rs 3.68 crore. This included his existing flats in Delhi, Panchkula and Sirsa, a plot and land. The action was taken under the provisions of PMLA. In January 2021, Special Judge Vikas Dhul framed charges against Chautala under Section 4 of the Money Laundering Act 2002.

Why was the hearing of the case postponed?
During the trial of this case, Chautala sought adjournment on several grounds. Sometimes there is a pacemaker for the heart, surgery, summons not being issued, hospitalization without informing the court, etc. In March 2013, a Delhi court had reprimanded the Tihar Jail authorities for not informing about Chautala’s hospitalization.

Chautala was admitted to RML Hospital and due to this, he did not appear in the trial in the disproportionate assets case. The court had also issued notice to the jail superintendent in this case and sought a report on Chautala’s health status. A warrant was also issued against Chautala by the court.

Punishment also in teacher recruitment scam
Earlier on January 22, 2013, Chautala had been convicted on charges of corruption and criminal conspiracy in the JBT teacher recruitment scam. He was sentenced to seven years for corruption and 10 years for criminal conspiracy. Apart from OP Chautala, his elder son Ajay Chautala and 53 others were convicted in the JBT case.

came out after serving sentence last year
In 2000, a total of 55 were convicted in the JBT scam for illegal recruitment of 3,206 teachers in Haryana. Among the culprits were Chautala’s then political advisor Sher Singh Badshami, then OSD Vidyadhar IAS, and the then primary education director Sanjeev Kumar. OP Chautala was released from Tihar Jail after completing his sentence on July 2 last year. Chautala had recently passed the 10th and 12th examinations from the Haryana Board at the age of 87.

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