Politicians face heat in courts, landmark verdicts in 2013

CourtThe trial courts also dealt strictly with the cases of wanted terrorists, including IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal. (PTI)

Landmark judgements on politicians coupled with corruption cases involving corporate honchos kept trial courts here busy in 2013, which also saw four accused in the December 16 gangrape and murder case sent to the gallows.

The year, which began with setting up of fast track courts here to deal with sexual offences against women, saw all the twists and turns in trial proceedings in the December 16 case which attained finality on September 13 with the judge saying, "convicts be hanged by neck till they are dead".

Four-time former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his MLA son Ajay Chautala were convicted and sent to jail in a corruption case while Congress' Rajya Sabha MP Rasheed Masood achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the first lawmaker to lose his seat after Supreme Court's judgement removed immunity for convicted elected representatives.

While Chautalas and 53 others, including two senior IAS officers, were awarded varying jail term up to 10 years in the teachers recruitment scam, Masood and two others got four-year imprisonment for the medical scam in 1990.

India's top corporates, including Kumar Mangalam Birla, Naveen Jindal and Sunil Bharti Mittal faced the heat from CBI and the court in corruption cases like Coalgate and additional 2G spectrum scam.

While CBI lodged separate FIRs against Birla, Jindal, also a sitting Congress MP, and others in Coalgate, Mittal bore the brunt with a CBI special court summoning him and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia as accused in the additional spectrum scam case during the NDA regime in 2002.

Summoning of Mittal and Ruia was seen as a stern step by the court as the special CBI judge summoned them despite the fact that their names were not mentioned as accused in CBI's charge sheet.

Besides these, the trial courts also dealt strictly with the cases of wanted terrorists, including Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and top Lashkar-e-Taiba bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda, both of whom were evading arrest since decades.

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