In what could be termed another example of prolonged trial, seven years after filing charge sheet against former Haryana Chief Minister OP Chautala, the Central Bureau of Investigation has closed prosecution evidence in a case of disproportionate assets.
Special Public Prosecutor for CBI Ajay Gupta informed special CBI judge Manoj Jain that the probe agency wants to close prosecution evidence.
The matter will now come up on December 11 for the recording of statement of the Indian National Lok Dal Leader, who is already undergoing 10-year jail term in the JBT scam, involving illegal recruitment of 3,206 JBT teachers in Haryana in year 2000.
It is to be noted that the CBI relied on 106 witnesses in the case in which charge sheet was filed way back in the year 2010 and took 7 years to reach the present stage.
On March 26, 2010, the CBI chargesheeted Chautala for allegedly possessing assets worth Rs 6.09 crore, far exceeding his legal income between 1993 and 2006. The agency said Chautala’s wealth was 189 per cent over the legal income of Rs 3.22 crore during the check period.
On August 3, 2011, charges were framed against him by the CBI court for the offence under section 13(1)(e) read with section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
His sons Ajay and Abhay Chautala also face similar charges.
The cases were earlier going on in different courts, but then transferred to one.
It also saw CBI filing additional list of witnesses on more than one occasion, including once in 2013, when it was allowed to bring in 97 more witnesses and then in February this year.
On the last day of recording of prosecution evidence, Chautala’s advocate Harsh K Sharma, founder of Prosoll Law Inc, along with advocates Anil Rathi and Vaibhavi Sharma cross-examined CBI investigating officer, after which the CBI closed its evidence.
Meanwhile, OP Chautala withdrew his personal bond. His surety also said he was not willing to continue as one. The bonds were, accordingly, cancelled by CBI judge Manoj Jain and Chautala was taken in custody in the disproportionate assets matter.
The CBI had registered three separate disproportionate assets cases against OP Chautala, Ajay and Abhay Chautala on a complaint by Haryana Congress leader Shamsher Singh Surjewala.