A special Court here today sentenced RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav to 3.5 years in jail in connection with a fodder scam case. The court also slapped Rs 10 lakh fine on him for two cases in the scam. If Lalu fails to pay the fine, the jail term will be extended by six months, the court said.
The 3.5 years imprisonment bars Lalu from seeking bail from the lower court. The RJD supremo will now have to approach the Ranchi High Court for bail.
Other convicts Phool Chand, Mahesh Prasad, Bake Julious, Sunil Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Sudhir Kumar and Raja Ram were also to sentenced to 3.5 years in jail. The court asked each of them to pay Rs 5 lakh as a fine.
Lalu’s elder son and former Bihar Health minister Tej Pratap expressed confidence that the RJD supremo will get bail from the High Court.
“We are confident that he (Lalu Yadav) will get bail. We have full faith on judiciary. We are not going to be cowed down,” he said.
Reacting to the quantum of punishment being awarded to Lalu, senior JD(U) leader KC Tyagi said, “We welcome this judgement, this will prove to be a historic decision in Bihar politics. It is the end of a chapter.”
As it happened:
आप सबों के नाम ये पत्र लिख रहा हूँ और याद कर रहा हूँ अन्याय और ग़ैर बराबरी के खिलाफ.. pic.twitter.com/PMTrOU8GB8— Lalu Prasad Yadav (@laluprasadrjd) January 6, 2018
None of the convict in #FodderScam can take bail from Ranchi Court. They will have to move High Court.— ANI (@ANI) January 6, 2018
4:45 pm: We are confident that he (Lalu) will get bail. We have full faith on judiciary. We are not going to be cowed down: Tej Pratap Yadav
* Convicts Phool Chand, Mahesh Prasad, Bake Julious,Sunil Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Sudhir Kumar and Raja Ram sentenced to 3.5 years in jail and Rs 5 lakh fine each
4:20 pm: RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav sentenced to 3.5 years in jail. Court also slapped Rs 5 lakh fine on him
4 pm: All accused present in video conferencing room, verdict to be pronounced shortly
* According to lawyers, Lalu can be awarded three to seven years of punishment. If he gets three years' term, he would get bail soon after sentencing.
2:15 pm: Sentence in fodder scam to be pronounced at 4 pm
2 pm: Judge says 'an open jail is best for these people (convicts), as they also have experience of cow farming'
Ranchi: Court proceedings in #FodderScam hearing starts after judge reaches video conferencing room— ANI (@ANI) January 6, 2018
On Friday, the court had concluded arguments on the quantum of punishment against all convicts in connection with the withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deogarh Treasury between 1990 and 1994 when he was the chief minister of Bihar.
Citing illness and old age, RJD chief through his counsel Chittaranjan Prasad had sought leniency from the CBI court. Lalu’s lawyer had informed that his client had appeared before the court for the sentencing hearing through videoconferencing from Birsa Munda central jail and in a written plea sought leniency due to his illness and old age.
The 69-year-old RJD leader is lodged in the central jail since his conviction on December 23.
The court had convicted Lalu for offences of cheating with criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Earlier, Lalu was awarded five years imprisonment in 2013 in a case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.61 crore from the Chaibasa treasury. The RJD supremo was later released on bail granted by the Supreme Court.
Yadav faces another three fodder scam cases for illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.97 crore from the Dumka Treasury, Rs 36 crore from the Chaibasa Treasury and Rs 184 crore from the Doranda treasury.