New Delhi, May 21: Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was on Tuesday granted interim bail for six weeks by the Delhi High Court for undergoing pacemaker implant surgery at a hospital here.
“In view of the facts and circumstances of the case and considering the medical report of the appellant/applicant, the applicant's sentence shall be suspended for a period of six weeks,” Justice Siddharth Mridul said while granting the interim bail.
78-year-old Chautala, chief of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), along with 54 others, is serving jail term in the 2000 teachers' recruitment scam.
The court asked Mr. Chautala to furnish a personal bond of Rs. five lakh along with two sureties of like amount before the trial court as a pre-condition for his release on bail.
It also asked the former Haryana Chief Minister to surrender his passport with the trial court, besides asking him not to leave the National Capital Region without prior permission of the court.
It also asked Mr. Chautala to get himself admitted at Medanta Medicity within 24 hours of his release on bail for undergoing the surgery.
The high court, however, gave liberty to CBI to seek cancellation of his bail if any condition imposed is violated by Mr. Chautala.
“It goes without saying that CBI will have the liberty to apply for cancellation of bail if any condition is being violated by the appellant/applicant,” Justice Mridul said.
The court, however, disallowed the submission of CBI that Mr. Chautala be restrained from addressing any press conference during the period of bail.
“How can this court curtail the fundamental right of a citizen. I don't wish to comment on it. If you persist with it (arguments), then it seems it is not coming from CBI,” the court observed during the hearing without elaborating.
Earlier, a report was filed by a medical board which was constituted in pursuance of the court's direction on May 16.
The board, which comprised a doctor from Tihar Jail and one specialist each from AIIMS, RML Hospital and GB Pant Hospital here, in its report had suggested that the veteran Haryana politician needs a pacemaker implant in his heart.
Mr. Chautala has moved the high court challenging his conviction and 10-year jail term awarded in the Junior Basic Trained (JBT) Teachers case.
On January 22, the trial court had convicted and sentenced Mr. Chautala and nine others, including his son Ajay Chautala, to 10 years jail term for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers in 2000.
Among other convicts, 44 have been sentenced to four years in jail and one was sentenced to a five-year jail term in the case.
All of them were held guilty of cheating, forgery, using fake documents as genuine, conspiracy under the IPC and for abusing their official position under the Prevention of Corruption Act.