Chautala, son convicted in graft case, in custody

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) Former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay were taken into police custody Wednesday after a CBI court convicted them in a recruitment scam involving JBT (junior basic training) teachers.

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief and son Ajay, both Haryana legislators, were taken into custody immediately after the ruling by the Central Bureau of Investigation court in Rohini. The court also convicted 53 others for the illegal recruitment of over 3,000 JBT teachers.

The court will pronounce the sentence Jan 22.

The CBI had formally charged the father-son duo and others June 6, 2008, in connection with the scam that took place in 1999-2000 when Chautala was chief minister of Haryana.

Over 3,000 teachers were to be recruited in the state and Chautala had pressurised a senior official, Sanjeev Kumar, to change the list of selected candidates by fudging the marks of certain favourites.

Later, Sanjeev Kumar went to the Supreme Court and submitted before it the list of the candidates originally selected. The official also alleged that money had changed hands in the recruitment scam.

The Supreme Court directed the CBI to investigate the matter, especially the bribery charges.

The federal investigating agency in its chargesheet said forged documents were used to appoint the teachers.

Although Chautala alleged that he was politically victimised, the Rohini court convicted him in the case.

Son of former deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal, Chautala is the leader of opposition in the Haryana assembly. The INLD was earlier part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Chautala and his two sons -- Ajay Singh Chautala and Abhey Singh Chautala -- are legislators in the Haryana assembly. He was the chief minister of Haryana between 1999-2005.