JBT scam: High court sets aside Delhi government order on OP Chautala's early release plea

Delhi High court on Wednesday (December 18) set aside the state government order that denied the early release of former Haryana Chief Minister OP Chautala. 

JBT scam: High court sets aside Delhi government order on OP Chautala's early release plea

New Delhi: Delhi High court on Wednesday (December 18) set aside the state government order that denied the early release of former Haryana Chief Minister OP Chautala. The Delhi government has been directed to decide the case afresh.

Chautala had approached the government for early release on the basis of the new provision of 2018 that provided for early release of those prisoners, who are above 60 years, after completion of half of their sentence.

On November 26, Chautala submitted before the High Court that he deserved to be released early under the Centre's policy of special remission as he has already spent seven years in prison. 

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But the plea was opposed by the Delhi government which said the 84-year-old INLD chief was not eligible for the relief as he was convicted under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act and as per the proviso of the government notification, such convicts cannot be granted special remission.

Chautala, who is serving 10-year jail term in the JBT teachers recruitment scam, pleaded that he should be considered for release from jail in view of his old age and disability as also the period of seven years already undergone by him behind bars.

The former Haryana CM, his son Ajay Chautala, and 53 others, including IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar, were convicted and sentenced in the case of illegal recruitment of 3,206 junior basic teachers (JBT) in 2000. A special CBI court sentenced them to varying jail terms in January 2013.

Apart from the Chautalas and Kumar, Chautala's former Officer on Special Duty Vidya Dhar and political advisor to the then Haryana CM Sher Singh Badshami were also awarded 10-year jail sentence. 

Notably, among the 55 convicts in the JBT teachers recruitment scam, 16 were women officials.