SC gives a go-ahead for criminal prosecution of Chautalas

SC gives a go-ahead for criminal prosecution of Chautalas

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday gave its nod for criminal prosecution of Indian National Lok Dal leaders Ajay and Abhay Chautala in a disproportionate assets case.

A division bench of V. S. Sirpurkar and T. S. Thakur dismissed their plea of quashing the criminal case against them on the ground that no sanction was taken from authorities before initiating proceedings against them.

The bench said that there was no need to get sanction before their criminal prosecution and vacated the stay on the proceedings.

Refusing to grant any relief to Chautalas, the bench upheld the Delhi high court order for their prosecution.

The Supreme Court had on 22 October last year stayed all further proceedings in the DA case against Ajay and Abhay Chautala, sons of former Haryana chief minister and INLD leader Om Prakash Chautala.

The Chautalas had challenged a trial court order summoning them in the disproportionate assets case filed by the CBI.

They had submitted that the CBI, which filed the chargesheet, has failed to obtain the mandatory sanction from the government before launching the prosecution and alleged that the entire probe against them was politically motivated.

They claimed that prior sanction was necessary to prosecute the MLAs as provided under Section 197CrPC but the CBI had failed to obtain the same as the brothers were MLAs when the offence was allegedly committed.

The Delhi high court had earlier on 8 July dismissed Chautalas’ petition challenging the trial court’s order.

The Chautala brothers, INLD MLA in Haryana, challenged the February two order of the trial court which had taken cognisance of charges against them in a disproportionate assets case.

The CBI had filed a chargesheet in December last year against the brothers in which it claimed that they had accumulated massive wealth which was disproportionate to their known sources of income.

According to the chargesheet against Ajay, the CBI claimed that he was in possession of assets to the tune of Rs27.74 crore --more than three times his income of Rs8.17 crore during the period of 1993 to 2006.

The second chargesheet was filed against Abhay alleging his assets were over five times his income of Rs22.89 crore as per income tax records during the 2000-2005 period. The agency claimed to have found Rs119.69 crore worth of assets.

The investigating agency’s FIR listed the movable and immovable properties belonging to Chautala or his family members which had been acquired between July 1999 and March 2005 when they were public servants.