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The Delhi High Court today directed the NCT government to consider the plea filed by former Haryana Chief Minister OP Chautala seeking early release from Tihar Jail.
Praying for early release, the 83-year-old politician relied upon a July 2018 notification passed by the Central government asking state governments and Union Territories to grant special remission to male convicts above the age of 60 years, if they have undergone half of the actual sentence awarded to them.
The notification grants a similar remission to female and transgender convicts who are above the age of 55 years. Further, the notification is also applicable to convicts who have disability of 70% or more, if they have undergone half of the sentence awarded.
It, however, does not apply to convicts under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Thus, Chautala moved the Court after he completed his sentence for commission of an offence under the PC Act, praying for remission of the remainder of his sentence under the Indian Penal Code.
In his petition filed through Advocate Amit Sahni, Chautala has not only cited his age as a ground for remission, but has also claimed that he had permanent disability of 60%, as on April 2013, and also had a pacemaker surgery in June 2013.
The disability is progressive and at present, it is more than 70%, it was submitted.
After Standing Counsel for Delhi Rahul Mehra stated that the government would consider Chautala’s representation as per the Centre’s notification, a Division Bench headed by Justice Siddharth Mridul directed the NCT government to consider the representation within four weeks.
Chautala, along with his elder son Ajay Chautala, was convicted in the Junior Basic Teacher Recruitment scam by a CBI Court in January 2013. He was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for the offence committed under the IPC and 7 years’ imprisonment for the offence under the PC Act. The two sentences were directed to run concurrently.
Chautala was represented by Senior Advocate N Hariharan.