Hearing adjourned on Chautala son’s plea against graft charges

Friday, September 17, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Friday adjourned the hearing on a petition by Abhay Chautala, son of former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, seeking the quashing of the chargesheet in a disproportionate assets case against him and his brother Ajay.

The case pertains to the period when Abhay Chautala was a member of the Haryana assembly June 2000-March 2005 and no prosecution could be launched against him without the sanction of the speaker, an apex court bench of Justice V.S.Sirpuurkar and Justice Cyriac Joseph was told by senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi.

Even today, he is a member of the legislative assembly, counsel said, contending that under the Prevention of Corruption Act, no proceedings could be launched against him without the speaker’s sanction.

Chautala became the member of state assembly for the second time Jan 27, 2010.

The court adjourned the hearing because it wanted to refer to the apex court’s verdict in former Kerala chief minister K. Karunakaran’s case where the court had addressed a similar question of sanction for prosecution.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in its chargesheet filed Feb 2, 2010, has accused Abhay Chautala of having assets worth Rs.8 crore and about Rs.125 crore in the name of the Chaudhary Devi Lal Memorial Trust and other societies, Sushil, counsel for Abhay Chautala said.

Abhay Chautala has challenged the Punjab and Haryana High Court order dismissing his plea for the quashing the chargesheet.

His brother Ajay Chautala has been charged with amassing wealth of about Rs.27 crore beyond his known sources of income, Sushil said.

Counsel said that all the properties that are owned by the trust and other societies have been shown as belonging to Abhay Chautala.

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