Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who is serving a 10-year prison term and is out on parole, will reach Tihar jail on Friday to complete formalities for his release, INLD state unit president Nafe Singh Rathi said on Thursday.
The Delhi government had last month passed an order granting a six-month special remission to those who have served nine-and-half years of their 10-year prison sentence to decongest jails in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to officials, since the 86-year-old former chief minister has already served nine years and nine months of his sentence, he is eligible to get out of prison.
Chautala was jailed in 2013 in a teacher recruitment scam case. He was on emergency parole since March 26, 2020, due to the Covid pandemic and was scheduled to surrender on February 21, 2021. However, his parole had been extended by the high court, a senior jail official had said earlier.
As on February 21, he had two months and 27 days of jail time left which has been counted as remitted. He will be formally released whenever he surrenders before the jail authority, the official said had said last month. "Accompanied by his grandson Karan Chautala (son of Abhay Chautala), former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala will reach Tihar jail on Friday morning to complete paperwork for his release," Indian National Lok Dal state chief Rathi was quoted as saying in a party statement.
"After completing the paperwork and signing the release form, he will leave for his Gurgaon residence," he said, adding INLD party workers from all over Haryana will reach the Delhi-Grugaon border to welcome their leader. Claiming that a new era is set to begin in Haryana politics, Rathi said people from all sections of the society in the state are eagerly waiting for the release of the INLD supremo.
O P Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala, and 53 others, including IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar, were convicted and sentenced in the case of illegal recruitment of 3,206 junior basic teachers in 2000. They all were sentenced to varying jail terms in the case by a special CBI court in January 2013.
Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education in Haryana, had initially exposed the scam after he filed a plea in the Supreme Court. Later, he was also found to be involved in the scam during a CBI probe. Apart from the Chautalas and Kumar, Chautala's former Officer on Special Duty Vidya Dhar and political advisor to the then Haryana CM Sher Singh Badshami were also given 10-year jail terms.
The others who were given 10-year jail terms are Madan Lal Kalra, Durga Dutt Pradhan, Bani Singh, Ram Singh and Daya Saini. Apart from them, one convict was handed a five-year jail sentence and the rest 44 were given four years of imprisonment.