Jailed former Haryana Chief Minister O P Chautala was denied permission by a Delhi court on Tuesday for legal interview with his counsel to discuss the case of disproportionate assets against him.
Special CBI judge Manu Rai Sethi, who is hearing the disproportionate assets case against the INLD chief, dismissed his plea saying he would have to approach jail superintendent seeking permission for legal interview.
The judge passed the order by relying upon prison rules which prescribe that “no convicted prisoner shall be allowed to have an interview or to receive or write a letter except with the permission of the superintendent”.
The court was not impressed with the argument of Mr. Chautala’s counsel that he was not “convicted person in disproportionate assets case before this court”.
The court observed that even if not convicted in this case, Chautala was convicted and sentenced to 10 years jail term in the junior basic trained (JBT) scam case by another CBI court.
Mr. Chautala’s counsel Amit Sahni submitted that even as he was allowed by the court to meet his client in jail on February 27, the jail authorities did not allow the meeting in wake of standing orders passed by DG Prisons permitting only one legal interview. He said since he had met Mr. Chautala once on February 25, he was not allowed another meeting.
“It would be appropriate to bring on record that the jail authorities ought to have complied with the order of this court in letter and spirit and ought to have permitted the advocate to have legal interview with the applicant and thereafter, could have sought necessary instructions in this regard for the future from this court.
“It is expected that the jail authorities would be more careful in the future,” the court said.
Meanwhile, Haryana MLA Ajay Chautala appeared before the court in pursuance of its production warrant. Ajay is also lodged in Tihar jail following his conviction in the JBT scam.
Police had made tight security arrangements and all his supporters were made to leave the court premises before his appearance.
Mr. Chautala and Ajay Chautala were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a Delhi court on January 22 for illegally recruiting 3,206 JBT teachers in Haryana in 2000.