A Delhi court on Saturday reserved its order on the plea of CBI seeking permission to file a list of additional witnesses to prove documents in a disproportionate assets case lodged against former Haryana chief minister O P Chautala.
Special Judge Sanjay Garg is likely to pronounce the order on February 6 on the application of CBI which said that various bank statements and other records were obtained during the probe and to prove the same, some witnesses were required to be summoned.
“Photocopies of income tax return of accused (Chautala) and his wife are required to be proved from original by summoning witness from I-T department concerned along with original records,” the application said.
Opposing the CBI plea and seeking its dismissal, Chautala, through his counsel Harsh Sharma, submitted that the probe agency has been in possession of all documents since the time the initial investigation was carried out and it is not clear as to why additional witnesses are being called.
“There are no reasons specified implicitly by the prosecution to clarify as to why additional witnesses are being called for at this stage as the documents required to be proved are in possession of CBI.
“The application was not filed at an appropriate stage and is being filed now to fill in the lacunae of the prosecution which is not permissible in law,” Chautala’s counsel said, adding, “There has been significant delay on the part of the agency which is quite evident of its ulterior motives to harass the accused and delay the trial.”
CBI had registered three separate disproportionate assets cases against Chautala and his two sons Ajay and Abhay, on a complaint by Haryana Congress leader Shamsher Singh Surjewala.
The court had earlier taken Chautala into custody in the DA case after a man sought to withdraw his surety bond furnished for the politician’s bail.
CBI had on 26 March, 2010 charged sheeted Chautala indicting him for allegedly possessing assets worth Rs 6.09 crore, far exceeding his legal income between 1993 and 2006.
In its charge sheet, the agency had alleged that Chautala’s wealth was 189 per cent more than his income of Rs 3.22 crore during the period.
Chautala is in prison after being sentenced to a 10-year jail term in the junior basic teachers (JBT) scam case. He is serving imprisonment for illegally recruiting 3,206 JBT teachers in Haryana in 2000.