Chautala moves HC against conviction

Former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala on THursday moved the Delhi High Court challenging his conviction and 10 years sentence for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers 12 years ago.

Chautala, 78-year-old chief of INLD, who was sent to Tihar Jail after his conviction, sought suspension of his jail term on the ground that "he is unwell and suffering from various ailments". While seeking urgent hearing of his appeal, he contended that the order of the trial court is liable to be set aside as "it was against the tenets of law as well as contrary to the evidence."

He added: "The present case is false, fictitious and subsumed with political overtones" and he ought not to be put to such great prejudice and hardship due to his conviction and incarceration during the pendency of the accompanying appeal, which is unlikely to be disposed of expeditiously.

"The trial court has failed to appreciate that in a democratic set up and under the principles of collective responsibility, it is the entire Council of Ministers, which is responsible for a cabinet decision, and not any one minister... In such a scenario, only singling out the appellant (Chautala) merely because he is the chief minister is unwarranted and erroneous. Further, it a settled principle that in a cabinet, the chief minister is only first among equals," the petition filed by advocate Siddharth Aggarwal said.

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