New Delhi: In a setback to CBI, prosecution witness and former Haryana Minister Karan Singh Dalal has blamed Congress party for the woes of legally-embattled state's former Chief Minister O P Chautala, facing trial in a Delhi court in a disproportionate assets case.
   
Dalal, testifying before Special Judge P S Teji, alleged that the members of the inquiry committee, constituted to look into the allegations against Chautala, were "directed by the Congress party" to collect materials against him.
   
The agency, which arrayed Dalal as its second prosecution witness, was in for the shock as he did not support its case.
   
"The committee was constituted as per the decision of the Congress party in Haryana and it was decided by the party (as to who would be) the chairman and members (of the inquiry committee).”
   
"All the members of the committee were directed by the party to collect materials against Om Prakash Chautala and his family and consolidate the same," Dalal, former Agriculture Minister, testified as a prosecution witness.
   
Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Chautala is facing trial for allegedly possessing wealth exceeding his legal income. The CBI, on March 26 last year, had filed the charge sheet against Chautala, indicting him for allegedly possessing assets worth Rs 6.09 crore, far exceeding his legal income between 1993 and 2006.
   
The charge sheet had said Chautala's wealth was 189 percent more than his income of Rs 3.22 crore during the period.

Dalal, a minister in the cabinet of then Chief Minister Chaudhary Bansi Lal during 1996 to 1999, said the nine-member committee was headed by Shamsher Singh Surjewala, the complainant in the case.
   
He said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was also one of the members of the committee.
   
"It is correct that present Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was the member of the above mentioned committee. It is incorrect to suggest that all the members were the members of Congress Party," he said.
   
The examination of Dalal, second prosecution witness, was inconclusive and would continue on September 14.
   
Deposing before the court, Dalal said the committee members used to collect documents related to Chautalas' properties.
   
Dalal, MLA from Palwal assembly constituency in 1999, later formed his own party after leaving the Bansi Lal-led Haryana Vikas Party.
   
He said his party had supported the Chautala government in the end of July 1999. He, however, refuted the allegation that as he was annoyed with Chautala after being denied a
Cabinet berth.
   
Chautala had last held the post of Haryana Chief Minister between July 1999 and March 2005.
   
The CBI had registered the case against Chautala in April 2006 and had searched his 24 premises in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh. It
had seized Rs 13 lakh in cash besides freezing five bank accounts having Rs 1.34 crore.

(Agencies)