Chautala meets supporters in Jind days after Delhi HC's notice

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Jind, Oct 3: Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala out on bail on health grounds today mingled with his supporters, days after he along with CBI was put under notice by a Delhi High Court on a plea seeking directions to the politician to surrender.

79-year-old grand oldman of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) went to residences of his supporters in Jind city besides visiting the party's election office at Urban Estate.

INLD is fighting a do-or-die battle for the October 15 assembly polls in alliance with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) after being out of helm of affairs for a decade.

"Chautala arrived here last night. He met party workers and this morning left for Uchana to take a round of the village," a party spokesman told PTI.

Chautala, however, maintained distance from the media. At the residence of an INLD supporter in the city he had breakfast. His supporters were seen touching his feet and offering him garlands.

Chautala also visited the residence of a BJP leader on Gohana road where two saffron party politicians announced that they are joining the INLD in the presence of him.

Attired in his traditional white kurta-pyjama and supporting a green 'pagri' (head gear), Chautala moved around the city in a white-coloured Mercedes.

Later, he left for Ucahana Kalan in the Jat heartland from where his grandson and party's youngest MP Dushyant is fighting his maiden assembly battle against Congress-turned -BJP leader Birender Singh's wife Prem Lata.

On October 1, the Delhi High Court had sought the response of CBI and Chautala by October 10 on the plea for directions to the politician to immediately surrender.

Justice Siddharth Mridul had issued notice to CBI and Chautala after senior advocate Vivek Tankha appearing for the petitioner lawyer contended that Chautala intends to "misuse the grace period of 17 days given to him to surrender" by planning to campaign during that period. 

While issuing notice to CBI and Chautala, the court had questioned, "Why has CBI not taken note of all this (election campaign)? CBI does not seem to be aggrieved by this."

The court also questioned the maintainability of the application. The petition had also contended that Chautala is "misusing the orders of the court and taking the court for a jolly ride, thereby abusing the process of law".

According to the petition, Chautala, who has been convicted and sentenced to 10 years jail term in a teachers' recruitment scam case, was granted bail on medical grounds on May 21, 2013 and since then he has been out by extending it on the same ground.

A special CBI court on January 22, 2013 had convicted and sentenced Chautala, his son Ajay and eight others to 10-year jail term each for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers in 2000.

Among other convicts, 44 were sentenced to four years in jail and one given a five-year jail term.

All of them were held guilty of cheating, forgery, using fake documents as genuine, conspiracy under IPC and of abusing their official position under Prevention of Corruption Act.

INLD had been projecting Chautala as their chief ministerial candidate and the INLD patriarch had also made an announcement that he will take oath from Tihar jail if his party forms the next government in the state, drawing sharp criticism from other key political parties Congress and BJP in the fray.

Chautala's INLD had bagged two - Hisar and Sirsa (reserve) - out of ten Lok Sabha seats it contested in the recently held Lok Sabha polls.

PTI

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