Former Haryana Chief Minister OP Chautala, serving 10-year jail term in JBT teachers recruitment scam, on Tuesday approached the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the government to release him under the Centre's policy for grant of special remission to prisoners.
The petition was mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao which allowed it to be listed on Wednesday before an appropriate bench.
The plea claimed that 83-year-old Chautala should be considered for his release considering his age and disability as also the period of seven years already undergone by him in jail.
The petition, filed through advocate Amit Sahni, referred to central government's July 18, 2018 special remission notification by which the relief could be granted to certain categories of prisoners and they were to be released in three phases with effect from October.
As per the notification, the special remission has to be given to women and transgender convicts of 55 years of age who have completed 50 per cent of their actual jail term, male convicts of 60 years of age and who have completed half of their sentence period.
The relief has to be given to physically challenged/ disabled prisoners with 70 percent disability and more and who have completed 50 per cent of their actual jail term and those who are terminally ill and the convicts who have completed two-third (66 percent) of their jail term, it said.
However, the special remission will not be given to those who have been convicted for heinous offences or under POTA, UAPA, TADA, POCSO Act, money laundering, FEMA, NDPS and Prevention of Corruption Act.
"Considering the age, disability and period of incarceration, the case of Chautala falls under two clauses of the notification but since the authorities are biased towards him, his case is not considered in furtherance of the notification despite the fact that he has already undergone more than seven years of incarceration under the PC Act," the plea said.
OP Chautala is presently out of jail on three weeks parole in the case.
OP Chautala, his son Ajay Chautala, and 53 others, including IAS officer Sanjiv Kumar, were convicted and sentenced in the case of illegal recruitment of 3,206 junior basic teachers (JBT) in 2000.
They all were sentenced to varying jail terms in the case by a special CBI court in January 2013.
Mr Kumar, the then Director of Primary Education in Haryana, had initially exposed the scam after he filed a plea in the Supreme Court. Later, he was also found to be involved in the scam during a CBI probe.
Apart from the Chautalas and Mr Kumar, Chautala''s former Officer on Special Duty Vidya Dhar and political advisor to the then Haryana CM Sher Singh Badshami were also given 10-year jail terms.
The others who were given 10-year jail terms are Madan Lal Kalra, Durga Dutt Pradhan, Bani Singh, Ram Singh and Daya Saini.
Apart from them, one convict was handed a five-year jail sentence and the rest 44 were given four years of imprisonment.
Among the 55 convicts, 16 were women officials.