Assets case: Charges framed against Ajay Chautala
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Last Updated: Friday, September 23, 2011, 22:38
New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday framed charges against Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Ajay Singh Chautala for allegedly possessing wealth exceeding his known sources of income finding prima facie evidence against him.

The trial will start on November 11 with the recording testimony of prosecution witnesses.

Paving the way for start of the trial of Chautala, Special CBI Judge P S Teji found "prima facie" evidence against him and framed charges under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

"I am of the considered opinion that prima facie case for framing charge under Section 13(1)(e) read with Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act is made out against the accused for acquiring assets disproportionate to his known sources of income," the judge said.

The court, in its order, said Ajay Chautala, son of former Chief Minister of Haryana Om Prakash Chautala, was possessing assets which are 339.27 per cent exceeding his legal income.

Ajay's legal income between May 1993 to May 2006 was Rs 8.17 crore. However, he acquired assets worth Rs 27.7 crore, CBI alleged.

"It has been demonstrated that during the check period (May 24, 1993 to May 31, 2006), Ajay Singh Chautala was having income of Rs 8.17 crore whereas he acquired the assets worth Rs 27.74 crore, that is 339.27 per cent which were disproportionate to his known sources of income," the court said.

It said the sitting Haryana MLA has "failed to give any explanation with regard to assets accumulated by him. He has failed to disclose the legal sources from which he acquired such assets."

The court, in its order, said Ajay Chautala had purchased "benami" properties in the name of five co-accused in the case.

"I am of the view that the assets acquired by Ajay Singh Chautala remained unaccounted for. It has also come on record that he has purchased benami properties in the name of his co-accused Chet Ram, Om Prakash, Abhimanyu Singh, Rajender Kumar and Net Ram," it said.

The charges against the five co-accused were framed on September 20 and they have been accused of abetting Chautala.

The witnesses had stated the properties of Chautala (farm house and 'kothi'), which are now in the names of co-accused, have been purchased by the INLD leader, the court said.

"The witnesses have also stated the accused made dealings with them with regard to their properties on which Chautala farm house and Chautala kothi were constructed and that payments were made by Ajay Chautala himself. Other properties mentioned in the charge sheets have also been acquired by Ajay Chautala in the name of his family members," it said.

The case against Om Prakash Chautala and his family members had been registered by CBI on a complaint of Shamsher Singh Surjewala, a Congress leader from Haryana.

The court rejected the plea of Chautala that CBI did not get a "proper sanction" to prosecute him.

"No saction was required in the present case as Ajay Chautala was not holding the office which was abused by him. He was holding a different office on the date when cognizance was taken against him. Therefore, I do not find any force in the contention of the accused that the prosecution is bad for the want of prior sanction," the court said.

The charge sheet against Chautala was filed on December 24, 2009.


First Published: Friday, September 23, 2011, 22:38

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