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Delhi Court Frames Money-laundering Charges Against INLD Chief Om Prakash Chautala

In a setback for Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supremo Om Prakash Chautala, a Delhi court has framed money laundering against the ex-Haryana chief minister

Haryana

In a setback for Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) supremo Om Prakash Chautala, a Delhi court has framed money laundering against the ex-Haryana chief minister in connection with a disproportionate assets case. The hearing for the same matter will commence on February 27. Chautala and his son Ajay - are currently serving a 10-year jail stint in Tihar for the teacher recruitment scam in 2013.

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PMLA charges framed against Om Prakash Chautala

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What is the PMLA case against Chautala?

In April 2019, the Enforcement Directorate attached assets worth Rs 3.68 crore in Delhi, Panchkula and Sirsa of Chautala in connection with a money laundering case against him and others, as per reports.  The ED said the CBI probe found that Chautala allegedly acquired assets of over Rs 6.09 crore between May 1993 to May 2006 and the source of income for these assets' purchase was not known. Reports state that his elder son Ajay Chautala also faces the same charges of possessing disproportionate assets worth over Rs 27.74 crore, while his younger son allegedly had similar 'disproportionate' assets to the tune of more than Rs 119 crore. Currently, Chautala's grandson - Dushyant Chautala is serving as Haryana's Deputy Chief Minister in the BJP-JJP government.

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Chautalas' conviction

In 2013, INLD chief and five-time Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala along with son Ajay Chautala were sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of corruption in a teacher recruitment scam, as per reports. The court held the father-son duo along with 53 others guilty of illegally recruiting 3,206 teachers in Haryana in 2000. It also suggested the removal of the 3000+ teachers who were illegally recruited. Reports state that over 4000 INLD supporters had surrounded the court complex in protest against the verdict, clashing with police who resorted to teargas and baton charge. The convicts were held guilty of tampering with the selection list of teachers, nepotism and favouritism, and recruitments in return for bribes.

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After the senior Chautala's imprisonment, the Chautala clan had a turf war, with Ajay Chautala's sons Dushyant and Digvijay breaking away from INLD and creating the 'Jan Nayak Janata Party' (JJP), while their uncle Abhay Chautala remained Secretary-General of INLD. JJP recently won 10 seats in the 2019 state polls, playing the kingmaker in the close election. INLD, on the other hand, won only 1 seat - Ellanabad which was held by Abhay Singh Chautala. He recently quit from the Haryana Assembly protesting over Centre's new farm laws.

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