The Delhi High Court on Wednesday suspended the four-year jail term of former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala till the pendency of his appeal in a disproportionate assets case.
“The sentence of the appellant/applicant (Chautala) is suspended till the pendency of the present appeal, subject to payment of a fine of Rs 50 lakh as imposed by the learned trial court and also on his executing a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh, with one surety of like amount to the satisfaction of the learned trial court.
“The appellant shall not visit abroad except with the permission of the learned Trial Court,” Justice Yogesh Khanna said in the order.
The court also observed that Chautala spent about one year and six months in custody and the appeal might take some time to come on board for a hearing.
In his earlier plea, Chautala had argued that he was convicted for a period of four years and he had already undergone imprisonment of five years and six months and the further jail term is a violation of settled judicial decisions of the Supreme Court.
His plea stated that he is around 87 years old, and was suffering from multiple ailments and progressive permanent disability of residual paralysis of both lower limbs and left upper limb, and even as per jail record, the petitioner, sentenced for RI of 4 years, has already undergone over 5 years in jail.
“.. even as per jail record, the petitioner (sentenced for RI of 4 years) has already undergone 5 years 6 months and 14 days (as on May 1) but the petitioner is not released from the prison..,” his plea read.
In pursuant to his petition, the jail authorities calculated the actual physical incarceration of the petitioner in the present case at 5 years 6 months. Still, instead of releasing the petitioner, they had forwarded a letter to the Special Judge, CBI, Rouse Avenue Court apprising that the actual period of custody undergone by the petitioner, it said.
On May 27, the city’s Rouse Avenue Court sentenced Chautala to four years in prison and slapped a fine of Rs 50 lakh in connection with the disproportionate assets case, in which he was convicted earlier.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)