AMN / RANCHI
A Special CBI Court in Ranchi today awarded 3. 5 year jail and a fine of Rs 5 lakh to RJD chief lalu Prasad.
Lalu Prasad along with others were found guilty on 23rd of last month for illegal withdrawal of more than 89 lakh rupees from the Deoghar treasury between 1991 and 1994. RJD Chief Lalu Prasad was the Chief Minister of then undevided Bihar. More from our Ranchi correspondent:
This is the second sentencing for the RJD Chief Lalu Prasad, as he had already been sentenced in another case of fodder scam and three more cases of fodder scam is at trial stage against him at Special CBI Courts in Ranchi, while one in Patna.
Yesterday, Lalu Prasad lawyers prayed for lighter sentencing citing his poor health conditions. The prosecution, however, had maintained it’s stand in favour of strict punishments.
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.
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.”
The fodder scam involved the embezzlement of more than Rs. 970 crore in government funds in the 1990s during Lalu Yadav’s term as the Chief Minister of undivided Bihar from 1990 to 1997. He has been accused in five cases of fodder scam and convicted in two.
Four years ago, Lalu Yadav was convicted in the first case of fodder scam and was given a five-year jail term. After being in jail for two months, he got bail from the Supreme Court.
The court had acquitted another former Bihar Chief Minister, Jagannath Mishra, and five others in the case. There were initially 34 accused, of whom 11 died during the trial. One admitted to the crime and turned approver. The other 15 people convicted include three former IAS officials.
With ally Hemant Soren as Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Lalu Yadav was given VIP treatment during his last jail stint in 2013. A guesthouse had been converted into a jail for him and even the chief Minister came to meet him there.
The state has a BJP government now with Raghubar Das as chief minister, who has ignored Mr Yadav’s request that he be allowed more visitors as he is a political leader. He has, however, been allowed a cook for his special diet and has access to a television and newspapers.
At the emergency meeting of the party 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”.