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Om Prakash Chautala and son held in graft case

New Delhi, Jan 16 (): A special CBI court  on Wednesday charged former Chief Minister of Haryana Om Prakash Chautala, his son MLA Ajay and 53 other officials for illegally recruiting over 3,000 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers, on the pretext of forged documents in the state and was taken into custody after the court gave its verdict in the case. All the accused were arrested under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).

Besides the former Chief Minister and his son, Chautala’s former Officer on Special Duty Vidya Dhar and Sher Singh Badshami, political advisor to the former chief minister, as well as Sanjiv Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education, were convicted by the court in the case. The court fixed January 17, 19 and 21 for hearing the arguments on the case, and January 22  for announcing the quantum of sentence.

The accused had been charged under various sections including criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under provisions of the PCA.

After the conclusion of the final arguments, the court has reserved its verdict in the case on December 17, 2012. Out of the total sixty-two accused in the case, six accused have died and one has been acquitted by the court while framing charges against the accused. After the scam came to light, all the accused who were found guilty were arrested on Wednesday including sixteen women.

The judge prohibited entry for all except the accused, their counsel, prosecutors and the court staff and ordered relatives and family members of the accused including media to stand outside the courtroom. The proceeding took place under tight security. On November 25, 2003, the Supreme Court in its order directed the CBI to investigate the case.

With the assembly election due in the state next year, the arrest might have come as a shocking to the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) which is known to be the main opposition party in the state.

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