Delhi High Court, yesterday, suspended Om Prakash Chautala’s 4-year sentence in the disproportionate assets case. On May 27, a trial court convicted the former Haryana Chief Minister and awarded a four-year jail term to him. This conviction has been challenged by Chautala.
The court, while suspending the sentence, observed that Chautala, 88, had already spent one and half years in custody and it might take some time to hear the appeal against his conviction. However, the court also said that the suspension of the sentence is subject to the payment of a fine of Rs50 lakh imposed by the trial court. Chautala will also have to execute a personal bond of Rs5 lakh with one surety of like amount.
The bench presided over by Justice Yogesh Khanna, said, “The sentence of the appellant/applicant (Chautala) is suspended till the pendency of the present appeal, subject to payment of a fine of Rs50 lakh as imposed by the learned trial court and also on his executing a personal bond of Rs5 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.”
Following an investigation in a case booked in 2005, CBI filed a charge sheet on March 26, 2010, against Chautala. The charge sheet accused him of amassing assets disproportionate to his legitimate income, between 1993 and 2006.
CBI had alleged that Chautala during his term as the Chief Minister of Haryana from July 24, 1999, to March 5, 2005, accumulated assets, immovable and movable, disproportionate to his known lawful sources of income, in his name, in the names of his family members.