Teacher recruitment scam: HC seeks CBI response to plea of 71-yr-old convict



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday asked CBI to file its response to the plea of a 71-year-old woman, sentenced along with former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala in the teacher recruitment scam case, challenging conviction and jail term awarded in the case.

Justice Mukta Gupta also asked the Superintendent, Tihar Jail to file a status report giving details about the health conditions of Raksha Jindal, who was awarded four years' jail term in the case.

Besides the appeal against her conviction, Jindal has also moved an application for grant of bail on medical grounds.

"The convict is 71-year-old and is wheelchair bound as she has been suffering permanent disability. Even the trial court had allowed her to use the wheelchair inside the prison," counsel for the convict said while seeking bail.

Jindal, who was a member of the district level selection committee constituted to recruit teachers in Haryana, was held guilty alongside Chautala and others under various provisions of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

The court has fixed the matter on February 7 for filing of Jindal's medical report and reply of CBI to her appeal.

Earlier, the high court had granted interim bail for five weeks to another convict in the case, Rekha Sharma, to attend the marriage ceremony of her daughter.

A CBI court on January 22, had sentenced 78-year-old Chautala, his son 51-year-old Ajay Chautala and 53 others, including two IAS officers, for various offences.

On January 16, the court had convicted them under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 418 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of the IPC and sections 13(1)(d) and 13(2) of the PCA for the illegal recruitment of 3,206 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers.

The CBI court had sentenced Om Prakash Chautala, Ajay Chautala and eight others to 10 years in jail while one convict was sentenced to five years in jail and 45 others to four years in jail.

Apart from the Chautalas, the 53 others who were convicted included Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, Chautala's former Officer on Special Duty Vidya Dhar, both IAS officers, and Sher Singh Badshami, earlier Chautala's political advisor and currently a sitting MLA.

The court had convicted them relying on the testimony of Kumar, who initially was a whistle blower but in the CBI probe that followed he was found to be involved in the scam.

In June 2008, CBI had filed its charge sheet before the special CBI court against 62 persons, out of which six had died during the trial while one was discharged by the court.

The apex court had in its order of November 25, 2003, directed CBI to take up the investigation of the case.

PTI