New Delhi: The Supreme Court today denied interim relief to INLD leader Ajay Chautala, who along with his father O P Chautala and three others, is serving 10 years jail term in the teachers' recruitment scam case.
“We are not inclined to entertain your (Chautala) appeal at this stage. Sorry we cannot interfere in the judgement at this stage,” a bench of justices Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla and Shiva Kirti Singh said.
The bench, which refused to suspend the sentence and grant bail to Chautala, however asked him to file appropriate plea for interim bail or parole on medical grounds.
“Whatever medical assistance you require during your stay in jail, you can file an appropriate application and seek the relief,” the court said, adding, “you approach for parole on the medical grounds.”
The one-hour-long hearing gave jitters to the convict and his lawyer, as the bench once observed that it would not interfere with the Delhi High Court verdict in the case.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for the INLD leader, later successfully persuaded the bench to hear the plea on merits in July.
The court initially observed that it would reject the appeal, but later said it was not “inclined to entertain” it “at this stage”.
“Neither the notice has been issued on the appeals of Chautala and others, nor the petitions have been dismissed outrightly,” the bench said.
While Chautala sought suspension of the sentence alleging that the High Court judge has not examined evidence properly, his counsel pleaded for relief on medical grounds saying that he has “serious health conditions” requiring hospitalisation.
The Delhi High Court on March 5 had upheld the 10-year jail term awarded to former Haryana Chief Minister O P Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala and three others, saying “the overwhelming evidence showed the shocking and spine-chilling state of affairs in the country”.
Chautalas and 53 others including two IAS officers were convicted on January 16, 2013 by the trial court for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers in Haryana in 2000.
The apex court today also refused to grant any relief to four others convicts, who have been sentenced to two years jail term in the case.
The former Chief Minister has also been serving 10-year jail term in the case and his appeal was not listed for hearing today.
Besides Chautalas and a whistleblower IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, the high court had also awarded 10 year jail term to IAS officer Vidya Dhar, then officer on special duty (OSD) to the Chief Minister, and Sher Singh Badshami, then MLA and political adviser to Chautala senior.
They are yet to file their appeals against the conviction and sentence, upheld by the high court.
All the 55 convicts have been convicted and sentenced under sections 120B(criminal conspiracy), 418(cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of the IPC and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The high court had modified the trial court's order on the quantum of sentence and awarded two-year jail term to 50 other convicts.
Initially there were 62 accused in the case. While two died before filling of the charge sheet, four died during the trial of the case and one was discharged by the trial court, with that order being later upheld by the Delhi High Court.