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Why Chautala is in jail: All you need to know about JBT scam

Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, his MLA son Ajay, and three other officials were today  sentenced to ten years in prison 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.

Here's are the major developments in the junior basic trained (JBT) teachers scam:

1. Former director of primary education Sanjeev Kumar, a 1989 batch IAS officer, had filed a writ in the Supreme Court alleging that the Om Prakash Chautala Government had resorted to corrupt practices while recruiting 3208 Junior Basic Trained (JBT) teachers in 2000.

Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala. AFP

2. After the PIL, Kumar himself had filed a petition accusing Chautala of forcing him to change the original list of selected candidates for the appointment of over 2,000 teachers kept under seal by his predecessor after the completion of the selection process. Chautala, on the other hand in a counter charge, had accused Kumar of himself indulging in “corrupt” practices and insisted that it was he who had changed the original list.

3. Since the counter-allegations by Kumar and Chautala created confusion, the apex court had handed the case to the CBI, which over the course of a four-year investigation had raided the premises of Chautala and grilled him, his legislator sons and the former DPE on various occasions.

4. 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.

5. The CBI had on 6 June, 2008, filed its charge sheet against the Chautalas, Indian National Lok Dal leaders, and others in connection with the scam relating to appointment of 3,206 junior basic teachers in the state during 1999-2000. In its chargesheet, the CBI had said that the probe established the manner in which the second lists were made by calling the chairpersons and members of the district-level selection committees of 18 districts to Haryana Bhawan in the national capital and a guest house in Chandigarh, where the modalities were worked out. The CBI, in its charge sheet, had also said that the father-son duo had used forged documents to appoint the teachers.

Apart from the Chautalas, IAS official Sanjiv Kumar, who blew the lid in the JBT recruitment scam, 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 today.

6. Out of the initial 62 accused, six had died during the trial while one had been discharged by the court at the time of the framing of charges. The 55 persons convicted by the court today include 16 women.

7. The special CBI court which found Chautala and his son guilty of offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). The court ordered that they be taken into custody and said that it would pronounce its sentence in the case on 22 January.

8. The court today sentenced Om Prakash Chautala, his son Ajay and three other senior officials from the Haryana government at the time to ten years in jail. Chautala is expected to appeal against the sentence in a higher court.

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