New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday cancelled the parole and furlough granted to Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Om Prakash Chautala on medical grounds and asked him to "surrender forthwith", saying he cocked a snook at the court and "misled" it by feigning illness.
Justice Vipin Sanghi issued the direction on a complaint by a private person alleging that the former Haryana chief minister, serving 10-year jail term in a teachers' recruitment scam case, was misusing his parole to attend public meetings.
While cancelling the parole granted to him by the court on 6 February this year, the judge also scrapped the three-week furlough granted to him by the prison authorities.
Referring to media reports and pictures attached to the complaint, the court said they showed that Chautala was "hale and hearty and attending public meetings from time to time".
The lawyers appearing for Chautala contended that press reports did not disclose he was attending public meetings and they also claimed that all the places mentioned in the news were cities where people gathered to meet him while he was on the way to his village.
The court, however, did not accept this contention.
It said that in 2013, his interim bail on medical ground was cancelled as he was found misusing it by campaigning for his party, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), and now "once again petitioner (Chautala) is found indulging in political activities while on parole".
The court said the parole was granted to the 82-year-old politician despite opposition from the Delhi government "by believing that he was suffering from ailments and needs parole to receive treatment privately", but he has "breached the trust reposed in him".
"The same modus operandi has been used by petitioner and this conduct of petitioner is incorrigible", it said and added "complete fraud you are playing with the court. You can't cock a snook and get away with it".
"Petitioner has clearly breached the trust reposed in him by the court by believing that he is in urgent need for medical attention," it added.
The court noted that the INLD leader had played "the old age and medical condition cards" and said the parole guidelines were framed in the "spirit of providing succour to convicts incarcerated for long periods" and "cannot be enforced for a convict who has misled the court".
The court also said that the period spent on parole "will not be counted towards period of sentence undergone" by Chautala.
Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala and three others are serving 10-year jail term in the case.
The Supreme Court in August 2015 had dismissed Chautalas' appeals against the high court verdict upholding their conviction and sentence of 10 years awarded by a trial court in the junior basic trained (JBT) teachers recruitment scam case.
The high court had on March 5, 2015 upheld the 10-year jail terms awarded to the two Chautalas and three others, saying, "The overwhelming evidence showed spine-chilling state of affairs in the country."
The father-son duo and 53 others, including two IAS officers, were among 55 persons convicted on January 16, 2013 by the trial court for illegally recruiting 3,206 JBT teachers in Haryana in 2000.
Updated Date: Mar 01, 2017 20:58 PM