Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was sentenced to 14 years in jail on Saturday in the Dumka treasury case by a special CBI court in Ranchi. This was the fourth case of the fodder scam against the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief. The case is related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.5 crore from Dumka treasury (which is now in Jharkhand) during Lalu’s tenure as Bihar chief minister. The hearing in the case was completed on March 5.
Apart from Lalu Yadav, 31 others including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra and politicians like Jagdish Sharma, R K Rana and Vidyasagar Nishad were among those accused in the case. Mishra was earlier acquitted in the second fodder scam case on December 23 last year along with five others.
Explaining the court’s verdict, Lalu Yadav’s lawyer Prabhat Kumar said that the RJD chief was given imprisonment of 7 years each under IPC & Prevention of Corruption Act, both to run concurrently. “Total fine will be Rs. 60 lakh. Sentence of previous case to also run concurrently,” he said.
Lalu Yadav was earlier held guilty in three other cases of the scam by special CBI courts in Ranchi. In September 2013, he was handed a five-year jail term in the Chaibasa treasury case. The conviction had also barred Lalu Yadav from contesting elections for 11 years in line with the Supreme Court order disqualifying convicts jailed for more than two years from contesting for six years after completion of their sentence. Later, he had got bail in the case.
In December 2017, he was given a jail term of three and a half years in Deoghar treasury case and another jail term for five years in another case linked to the Chaibasa treasury in January.
He, along with 18 others was held guilty by Judge Shiv Pal Singh last week in the Dumka treasury case while 12 others were acquitted. The case (RC 38A/96) pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.76 crore from the government treasury in Dumka, presently in Jharkhand, even though the withdrawal limit was fixed at just Rs 1.50 lakh.
Yadav, who also served as railway minister in the UPA-I government, has been lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail at Hotwar near Ranchi since December 23, 2017. He was shifted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in the Jharkhand capital from jail on Saturday after his health condition worsened.