Om Prakash Chautala, former Chief Minister of Haryana will now have to spend a decade in prison as Supreme Court has confirmed yesterday, the conviction and punishment by the Delhi High Court for his involvement in a scam that involved illegal recruitment of thousands of junior teachers in the state's government schools. He is not alone, his son Ajay Chautala and 53 others, whose conviction is upheld by the Apex Court, will also have to spend their respective terms in jail.In response to the Chautala’s petition, a bench comprising Justices FMI Kalifulla and Shiva Kirti Singh said, "We are not inclined to entertain any of these appeals and they are dismissed.”The 80 year old, Chautala, was asked to approach the High Court, if he intends to seek relief, like parole on health grounds.
Scam had come to light when an IAS Officer of Haryana Cadre, filed a Writ Petition in the Supreme Court alleging that while he was posted as Director Primary Education, Haryana, he was pressurized by Om Prakash Chautala to replace the original award lists prepared for the selection of JBT teachers with fake award lists. He prayed CBI investigation in this scam and the Apex court directed the CBI to investigate the matter.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, investigated the case for four years, and prosecuted the Indian National Lok Dal Chief, and his son for forging documents to appoint the teachers. The Trial Court, in January 2013, convicted the former CM, his son and others after finding that they were directly involved in the scam. The Delhi High Court in March, this year, upheld the Trial court findings. While upholding the conviction, Delhi High court which said that this case revealed a shocking and spine-chilling state of affairs prevalent in our country, also observed “The man was the Chief Minister of Haryana, capable of much hope and an inspiration to the youth of the State. Cheating them of their future deserves punishment of the highest kind”High court had also found that“not only did they offend every duty they had to the office they were holding but in the process, they also challenged the ethical standard of every other public servant and compelled them to abandon their otherwise perfect career records”.
The Delhi High court had also noted the fact that the authors of the present crime were essentially public servants; who were duty bound to preserve and uphold the dignity of law. It said “Some had even been administered oath‘in terms of the Constitution of India. Yet they chose to flagrantly violate the law, betraying the trust reposed in them by the citizens and the Constitution. The very nature of the present crime, its magnitude, ramifications, designed manner of execution and the deleterious impact on the society at large, warrants a strict view, lest, justice be rendered sterile”.