The Delhi High Court today (December 18, 2019) directed the AAP government to consider a fresh plea of former Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala seeking his release from the Tihar Central Jail under the special remission granted to senior citizen having already served 7 years in prison.
A bench comprising of Justices Manmohan and Sangeeta Dhingra Sehgal of the Delhi High Court was hearing the matter which set aside Delhi Government earlier order rejecting the plea.
Earlier, the Delhi Government had opposed the plea saying that the 84-year INLD Chief was not eligible for special remission since he was convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 in the Teachers’ Recruitment Scam.
In the year 2000, O.P. Chautala and his son, Ajay Chautala had been convicted in a case of illegal recruitment of 3,206 JBT (Junior Basic Teachers). A Special CBI court had convicted and given them different jail terms in January, 2013. Apart from the Chautalas, 53 other persons were involved in the scam including one IAS officer called Sanjiv Kumar who had exposed the scam but was later found to be involved himself.
Advocate Amit Sahni has filed the fresh petition, referring to the Central Government special remission notification released on July 18, 2018 (with effect from October, 2018) by which the relief could be granted to certain categories of prisoners who were to be released in three phases.
As per the notification, the special remission has to be given to 55-year old women and transgender convicts and 60-year old male convicts who have completed 50% of their jail term. The relief has to be given to physically challenged/disabled prisoners with 70% disability and more, those who have completed 50% of their jail term and those who are terminally ill and the convicts who have completed two-third (66%) of their jail term.