JBT scam: SC judge recuses from hearing OP Chautala’s plea
New Delhi: Supreme Court judge U U Lalit today recused himself from hearing a petition of former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, who along with his son Ajay Singh Chautala and three others, is serving a 10-year jail term in the teachers’ recruitment scam case.
“I have appeared for some of the accused in the case,” Justice Lalit, who was sitting on the bench headed by Justice F M I Kalifulla, said.
Earlier also, Justice Lalit had recused himself from hearing the plea of INLD Chautala’s son Ajay on similar ground.
The apex court has now posted the appeals of various convicts challenging their conviction and sentence, for hearing on July 21.
The Delhi High Court had on March 5 upheld the 10-year jail term awarded to 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.
Besides Chautalas and whistleblower IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, the high court had also awarded 10-year prison 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.
All the 55 convicts have been sentenced under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 418(cheating), 467 (forgery), 471 (using forged documents as genuine) of 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 filing of the charge sheet, four died during the trial of the case and one was discharged by the trial court.