- The Doranda treasury embezzlement case is the fifth and final case against Lalu in the fodder scam
- Earlier on February 15, Lalu Yadav was shifted to Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi
- He was later admitted to the state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS)
A special CBI court on Monday sentenced RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav to five years of imprisonment in the Rs 139.5 crore Doranda treasury embezzlement case. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 60 lakh on the former Bihar chief minister in the case.
Earlier on February 15, the former Bihar chief minister was shifted to Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi soon after his conviction. He was then admitted to the state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).
In jail since December 2017, Prasad served most of his sentence period at the RIMS. He was taken to All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in January last year after his health condition deteriorated.
On February 15, Prasad, who was present in the court, was taken into custody and arguments on the quantum of his sentence will be heard today. The CBI counsel had earlier said the court will hear the arguments on sentence on February 18.
Prasad had earlier been sentenced to 14 years in jail in four other fodder scam cases.
The final case was related to withdrawals of Rs 139.35 crore from Doranda treasury during his tenure as the chief minister of undivided Bihar.
On Prasad's plea, directions were given to the jail superintendent and RIMS director to take necessary action keeping in mind his health.
The ebullient leader suffers from multiple ailments, including renal problems.
Fodder scam: Witnesses, charge sheets
The CBI had examined 575 witnesses in the case, and filed a charge sheet against 170 people. However, only 99 accused, including Prasad, faced trial which had commenced in 1996.
In the course of the 22-year-long trial, 55 accused died, while eight turned government approvers. As many as six accused are still absconding.
Prasad was accompanied to the court by his daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Misa Bharti. Many RJD leaders and workers also thronged the court premises.
Special CBI Judge Sudhanshu Kumar Shashi had on January 29 completed the hearing. All the accused were ordered to be physically present in the court on the day of the verdict.
Apart from Prasad, former MP Jagdish Sharma, the then Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Dhruv Bhagat, Animal Husbandry Secretary Beck Julius and Animal Husbandry Assistant Director Dr KM Prasad were the main accused.
The fodder scam
The fodder scam, pegged at Rs 950 crore, was first unearthed by the then Chaibasa deputy commissioner Amit Khare.
The Animal Husbandry Department had allegedly issued fake bills for large disbursements from government treasuries in various districts of undivided Bihar.
Prasad, then the chief minister, also held the finance portfolio.
The RJD supremo, who has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and slapped with a total fine of Rs 60 lakh, is on bail in four other cases related to Dumka, Deoghar and Chaibasa treasuries after conviction.
The CBI named Prasad as an accused in June 1997. The agency framed charges against Prasad and former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, who died in 2019.
The central agency had registered 53 separate cases in connection with the scam in 1996.
(With inputs from agencies)