Lalu Prasad gets 3.5 years jail in fodder scam case

<b>The Special CBI judge also slapped a Rs 10 lakh fine on the former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD supremo. En route to jail, Lalu slammed BJP, saying that “will die for social justice”.</b>

Photo by Parwaz Khan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Parwaz Khan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
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NH Web Desk

RJD supremo Lalu Prasad was on Saturday sentenced to three and a half years jail in a fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.

Special CBI judge Shivpal Singh announced the sentence after hearing arguments on quantum of sentencing. He also slapped a Rs 10 lakh fine on the former Bihar Chief Minister. The court had on December 23 convicted Lalu Prasad and 15 others in the case relating to the multi-million-rupee scam.

En route to jail, Lalu slammed BJP on Twitter, saying that "will die for social justice".

Lalu Yadav was convicted on December 23 for criminal conspiracy, forgery, use of forged documents and under the prevention of corruption act, sources said. This case relates to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury between 1990 and 1994.

The sentencing, which was expected last week, had been deferred twice. On Wednesday, the judge said they would proceed with the arguments on the sentencing in an alphabetical order.

CBI court judge Shiv Pal Singh, who had convicted Prasad, along with 10 others on December 23, also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on him for two cases in the scam. He was fined Rs 5 lakh for each case, failing which he would serve another six months in jail, a CBI counsel said.

The court had convicted Prasad for offences of cheating, along with criminal conspiracy, under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The scam is related to withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deogarh Treasury between 1990 and 1994 when Prasad was the chief minister of Bihar.

The 69-year-old RJD supremo, in a written plea yesterday, had sought leniency from the CBI court citing illness and old age, according to his counsel Chittaranjan Prasad.

The RJD went into a huddle immediately after the pronouncement of the sentence. RJD sources said that the party would appeal against the verdict.

This is the second fodder scam case in which Prasad has been jailed. He was sent to prison for five years on September 30, 2013. Prasad was granted bail by the Supreme Court after having spent over two-and-a-half months in jail.

Meanwhile, at the emergency meeting of the party earlier today, Tejashwi Yadav said the people were with Lalu Yadav. "He was chosen (by the people of Bihar in an election) and he's in jail," said the former Deputy Chief Minister in the Grand Alliance government. Last year, Nitish Kumar dissolved his alliance with Lalu Yadav and the Congress and partnered with the BJP instead.

Taking a dig at the BJP, Tejashwi Yadav said, "those who had not been elected is now in government... Amit Shah was scared of Lalu-ji".

Lalu Yadav has said his conviction was a fallout of political vengeance. After his conviction, he tweeted: "Truth can be made to appear as a lie, as ambiguous or a half lie by concerted onslaught of bias driven propaganda. But blurred layer of bias and hatred will still be removed, come what may! In end Truth will win."

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Published: 06 Jan 2018, 4:57 PM