New Delhi/ Chandigarh, Jul 2 (PTI) INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala walked free from the Delhi’s Tihar Jail Friday after serving a 10-year sentence in a recruitment scam, his party workers welcoming him with flower petals and drum beats at the capital’s border with Haryana. The former Haryana chief minister told party workers that he will continue to fight for farmers and the poor.
Chautala (86), who was already out on parole, reached the Tihar Jail on Friday to complete formalities after which he was released, prison officials said.
Director General (Delhi Prisons), Sandeep Goel, said, 'After necessary formalities, he (Chautala) has been released'.
Last month, the Delhi government had passed an order granting a six-month special remission to those who have served nine-and-half years of their 10-year prison sentence to decongest jails in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to officials, since Chautala has already served nine years and nine months of his sentence, he was eligible to get out of prison.
Chautala was jailed in 2013 in connection with a teacher recruitment scam . He was on emergency parole since March 26, 2020 due to the Covid pandemic and was scheduled to surrender on February 21, 2021.
However, his parole had been extended by the high court, a senior jail official had said earlier.
As on February 21, he had two months and 27 days of jail time left which has been counted as remitted.
O P 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 in 2000.
They all were sentenced to varying jail terms in the case by a special CBI court in January 2013.
After his release from the jail, Chautala was taken to his Gurgaon residence by his grandson Karan Chautala.
As his car reached the Delhi-Gurgaon border, Indian National Lok Dal workers welcomed him, showering flower petals and dancing to the beats of a “dhol” and distributed sweets.
There were reports of INLD workers celebrating the party supremo's release across Haryana.
In a brief conversation with workers, Chautala said he will continue to fight for farmers and the poor.
Party leaders who had assembled to welcome Chautala said he will soon be visiting the farmers protest against the Centre’s farm laws near the Delhi borders. The party’s state chief, Nafe Singh Rathi, said his release has infused new energy in workers.
Karan Chautala too expressed happiness over his grandfather’s release. “Not just me, people of Haryana are also very happy,” he said. PTI AMP BUN SUN VSD DV RDK RDK