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The Uphaar effect: Now Chautalas seek relief after SC lets Ansals off on age

A day after the Supreme Court granted relief to the Ansal brothers, Sushil and Gopal, both convicts in the Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy of 1997, from jail term on the ground of advanced age, the family of former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala is considering legal options to get him out of jail. Chautala is 80.

Chautala is serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted in the Haryana JBT teachers’ recruitment scam along with his son Ajay Chautala, 54. Incidentally, both are heart patients and have been under treatment.

 The Uphaar effect: Now Chautalas seek relief after SC lets Ansals off on age

OP Chautala. AFP

Digvijay Chautala, son of INLD leader Ajay Chautala and grandson of Om Prakash Chautala, said they have taken note of the Supreme Court judgment. “Everyone knows it is the highest national court and its judgments become precedent for the entire country. If its ruling applies to one person, it applies to all,” he said.

Digvijay, national president of INLD’s youth wing, Indian National Students’ Organisation (INSO), said, “We are planning to move a petition in the Supreme Court soon on behalf of OP Chautala appealing for leniency in his case. Chautala ji is 80 and in very poor health. We hope our plea will be considered favourably by the court,’’ he said.

Dushyant Chautala, another grandson of the former chief minister, said the family would discuss the issue in detail. “Unki age aur sehat ko dekhte hue Chautala ji ko bhi bilkul choot milni chahiye (Chautalaji should get relief considering his health and age), he said.

Asked to comment on the matter, Haryana Congress spokesman Pawan Jain said in his view a crime is a crime and no leniency should be given to the culprit just because he or she is old. “Paying fine to escape jail term gives a wrong impression. What about the poor? An aged poor will not be able to pay fine to compensate for his wrong doing. Poor people will not be able to escape jail,’’ Jain told Firstpost. He, however, said the courts should consider the gravity and merit of the case before delivering justice.

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Updated Date: Sep 25, 2015 12:38:07 IST