New Delhi, July 5: Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala has moved the Delhi High Court challenging the order of a trial court, which sent him to four years of imprisonment in a disproportionate assets (DA) case.
Advocate Harsh Sharma on Tuesday confirmed that the appeal had been moved to the Delhi High Court challenging a trial court order of conviction and order of sentence against OP Chautala. On May 27, 2022, the Rouse Avenue Court of Delhi ordered four years of imprisonment to Chautala. The court had also ordered to confiscate four properties of him and also imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh.
While passing the order, CBI Judge Vikas Dhull had also ordered to send OP Chautala in the custody of Tihar Jail. During the argument, Chautala physically appeared and remained present in the courtroom.
Appearing for Chautala, Advocate Harsh Sharma cited medical grounds for less punishment and submitted that "I, (OP Chautala), have been infected with polio since birth and I am partially disabled."
CBI's Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Gupta had opposed the submissions of Chautala's lawyer for a grant of concession on the grounds of ill-health and age. The CBI had urged the court that "maximum punishment shall be given as it would send a message to the society."
"The person, in this case, is a public figure and giving minimum punishment would send a wrong message. He is not having clean antecedents. It is the second case, in which he has been convicted," the CBI said.
Special Judge (PC Act) Vikas Dhull on May 21 convicted Chautala and said the accused had failed to satisfactorily account for such dis-proportionality by proving his source of income or means by way of which, he acquired assets during this period.
"Hence, accused Om Prakash Chautala is convicted for the offence under Section 13(1)(e) read with 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Put up May 26, 2022 at 10.00 AM for arguments on the point of sentence," said the court.
According to the CBI's FIR, accused Chautala, while functioning as Chief Minister of Haryana during the period from July 24, 1999, to March 5, 2005, in collusion with his family members and others, accumulated assets, immovable and movable, disproportionate to his known lawful sources of income, in his name, in the names of his family members and others to the extent of Rs.1,467 crores.
The FIR further stated that the accused accumulated enormous wealth and invested the same throughout the country in the shape of thousands of acres of land, multi complexes, palatial residential houses, hotels, farmhouses, business agencies, petrol pumps and other investments apart from investments in foreign countries. The FIR also stated that 43 immovable properties in all, apart from cash and jewellery were accumulated. Apart from 43 alleged properties listed in the FIR, additional properties were also suspected to be of the accused family.