Special judge lauds Kapil Sibal’s kin as sole exception

Attempts by lawyers of the former Haryana Chief Minister, Om Prakash Chautala, to paint the investigation as biased against him and that witnesses were under the influence of the Congress party failed to gain any credence with the special court, trying the Haryana junior basic teachers (JBT) recruitment scam.

Defence lawyers sought to discredit the testimony of Rajni Shekri Sibal, an IAS officer, who was transferred out of the Director of Primary Education post to make way for accused Sanjiv Kumar, on the ground that she was a distant relative of Union Minister Kapil Sibal.

Noting that she had not named O.P. Chautala anywhere in her testimony and that she had stood her ground against manipulation of the teacher lists, Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar said: “I am of the opinion that she is not only a truthful witness but I find that she was the only person who had enough courage to withstand the political pressures exerted upon her.

“The rest of the bureaucrats closed their eyes, turned their faces, crawled before the political bosses and many cooperated and aided in the execution of the conspiracy.”

On the plea of the accused persons that the CBI’s investigation in the case was biased against them, the Judge said he could find no evidence of political bias in the probe.

“In this case, the investigating officer (IO) might have committed some mistakes or at some points there might be some deficiency in the investigation, but when a case is investigated after three years of the incident, the IO has to work under many limitations.

“However, at the same time I would say that the investigation was fair and there is nothing on record that it was biased against any of the accused persons for any reasons including political ones said.”

The CBI built their case on Ajay Chautala’s role in the conspiracy using extensive records of calls made by him to other accused in the case.