Former Bihar Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was sentenced to three-and-a half-years in jail by a Ranchi court on Saturday in the fodder scam case.
The judgment was announced via video conferencing. A fine of Rs 5 lakh has also been imposed on the RJD chief. In case of non-payment of fine, Lalu would have to serve an extra six months in jail, the judge said.
Lalu Yadav’s partymen had hoped that the jail term would be less than three years, so that a bail petition could be filed immediately. A three-and-a-half year jail term would mean that bail can only be granted by the High Court.
The RJD supremo’s lawyer, Prabhat Kumar said tha they would seek bail for Lalu from Jharkhand High Court. Other convicts Phool Chand, Mahesh Prasad, Bake Julious, Sunil Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Sudhir Kumar and Raja Ram were also sentenced to 3.5 years in jail and a fine of Rs 5 lakh each was imposed. The hearing concluded on Saturday and all the 15 convicts, including the RJD supremo, appeared via video conferencing.
Lalu was convicted by a CBI court on December 23, 2017, and has been lodged in Birsa Munda prison since then. The case pertains to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury when Lalu was the CM of Bihar between 1991 and 1994.
There are a total of six cases related to the scam, which are being probed by authorities. Saturday’s hearing on the quantum of sentence pertains to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury when Lalu was the CM of Bihar between 1991 and 1994.
In the mid-90s, the embezzlement of government treasury funds to non-existent companies for the purchase and supply of cattle fodder in Bihar was unearthed. It happened during the Lalu’s tenure as chief minister, forcing him to resign from the post.
In the first fodder scam case, Lalu was sentenced to five years in jail. Due to his conviction, he was debarred from contesting elections for 11 years.