Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, his son Ajay, and 53 other officials were today convicted by a special CBI court on charges of illegally recruiting over 3,000 teachers in the state by using forged documents.
The scam was widely known as the JBT scam since it involved the recruitment of junior basic teachers.
The special CBI court which found Chautala and his son guilty ordered that they be taken into custody and said that it would pronounce its sentence in the case on 22 January.
Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar held Chautala, his son and others guilty of offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).
Apart from the Chautalas, Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, Chautala’s former Officer on Special Duty Vidya Dhar and Sher Singh Badshami, political advisor to the then Haryana CM were convicted by the court in the case.
The court has fixed January 17, 19 and 21 for hearing the arguments on sentence.
Out of the initial 62 accused, six had died during the trial while one had been discharged by the court at the time of framing of charges.
The court had earlier found prima facie evidence against Chautala, his son Ajay and 53 others, including IAS officers Dhar and Kumar.
On June 6, 2008, the CBI had filed its charge sheet against the Chautalas and others in connection with a scam relating to appointment of 3,206 junior basic teachers in the state during 1999-2000.
IAS official Sanjiv Kumar, who blew the lid in the JBT recruitment scam, was made an accused along with another civil servant and former Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Chautala, Vidya Dhar.
The CBI had alleged that the father-son duo had used forged documents to appoint 3,206 teachers. The case had been registered by the CBI on November 25, 2003 on an apex court order.
The case came to light when Kumar, the director of primary education in the state, approached the Supreme Court and provided the original interview list for the recruitment of teachers who were to be selected on the basis of merit but instead were replaced by others. Candidates who had lost out in the recruitment process had also moved courts.
The Supreme Court had ordered a probe into the case and based on it the CBI began its inquiry in 2003. A case was registered under various sections of the IPC — 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and Section 13(2) and 13(1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The CBI had claimed that each teacher had paid a bribe of Rs three to four lakh and said that Chautala, who was the education minister at the time of the scam, had given written instructions to Kumar, demanding that the original list of candidates to be selected be replaced with a second one.
(with PTI inputs)