HC directs Om Prakash Chautala to surrender tomorrow

New Delhi: Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala was today directed to surrender before jail authorities tomorrow by the Delhi High Court for allegedly misusing bail and campaigning for assembly elections.

The high court said that the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief "cannot take the court for ride" and "cannot be permitted to question the majesty, dignity and decorum of this court". "Let him surrender tomorrow. Let's not bargain over this," Justice Siddharth Mridul said while refusing to grant time till Sunday or Monday morning to surrender.

 Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala
 Former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala

The INLD leader was granted bail in the case relating to teachers recruitment scam in which he has been convicted and sentenced to 10 years and his appeal is pending in the high court. Chautala, who was yesterday directed to appear in person was present in the high court. He was served with the high court summons in the Tis Hazari court where he was appearing in connection with another case of disproportionate assets.

The HC judge orally made it clear that Chautala would not indulge in campaigning in the intervening period till he surrenders and also declined his plea seeking more time to surrender. "I need treatment for fractures that are in the process of healing. I will surrender on October 17, if court allows it," 79-year-old Chautala said while his counsel was making submission.

"If he wants to surrender on Sunday, then he will go back to his residence and there will be no campaigning," the court observed during the hearing.

The court said that if jail authorities deem it necessary they may take him to AIIMS for medical treatment. CBI, which had sought cancellation of Chautala's bail, wanted him to surrender today itself.

"Fact is if he (Chautala) is well enough to campaign, well enough to travel, he will have to surrender," the court said. "I cannot for a moment permit anyone to question the majesty, dignity and decorum of this court. I cannot permit this. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done," the court said.

The judge said that he was pained and disappointed at the actions of Chautala and the relief granted to him "can't be turned into a carnival"."If he has faith in judiciary and the system, he must surrender," the judge said adding,"There must be a line which must not be crossed".

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