New Delhi: CBI today told the Delhi High Court that the conspiracy in the teachers' recruitment scam, in which former Haryana Chief Minister O P Chautala was jailed for 10 years, had begun in September 1999 when the recruitment was taken out of the purview of Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC).
Commencing his argument for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the bail plea of Chautala and others, Solicitor General(SG) Mohan Parasaran told Justice Mukta Gupta about the facts which led to the junior basic trained (JBT) teachers' recruitment scam.
The senior lawyer submitted Chautala had become the Chief Minister in July 1999 and he had also the additional charge of Education Minister.
The previous government in the state had taken the initiative for large scale recruitment of JBT teachers and the work was assigned to HSSC, he said.
The counsel argued the cabinet headed by Chautala had held the first meeting in September in which a decision was taken to "take away" the teachers' recruitment process from HSSC and to hand over the same to the directorate of primary education for the recruitment through district-level selection committees (DLSCs).
The senior law officer contended the issue was not on the agenda but the cabinet had taken the decision.
"The cabinet decision was the first step of the conspiracy, After which, the advertisement was issued for the recruitment and the entire appointment process was completed in October, 2000," the lawyer said.
On January 22, the trial court had convicted and sentenced Chautala and nine others to ten years jail-term for illegally recruiting 3,206 junior teachers in 2000.
Earlier, Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Chautala's counsel had argued before the court that the cabinet had twice held meetings in 1999 on the teachers’ recruitment policy but only the Chief Minister was held responsible.
"The trial court has failed to appreciate that it was the entire Council of Ministers which is responsible for a cabinet decision and not any one minister," Chautala's lawyer said.
78 year-old Chautala, his MLA son Ajay Chautala and 53 others, including two IAS officers, were convicted on January 16 by the trial court in the case.
The senior Chautala, who was held as the "main conspirator" of the scam by the court, was found guilty of cheating, forgery, using fake documents as genuine and conspiracy under the IPC and for abusing his official position under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).