RJD president Lalu Prasad was released from a Ranchi jail today, after the trial courts granted him permission in accordance with the six-week interim bail granted to him by the Jharkhand High Court in three fodder scam cases on medical grounds, following which the former Bihar chief minister flew down to Patna. After completing the formalities at the Birsa Munda Prison, the RJD chief came out of the jail and headed to the Ranchi airport straightaway, jail sources as well Prasad’s close aide Bhola Yadav, who was accompanying him, said. The RJD chief arrived at the Patna airport at 6:40 pm.
No family member was present at the Jayprakash Narayan airport in Patna to receive him. Only a handful of supporters were there to greet the RJD chief, who was seen coming out of the exit gate on a wheelchair, assisted by Bhola Yadav, who is an RJD MLA in Darbhanga district of Bihar. From the airport, Prasad left for the 10, Circular Road residence of his wife Rabri Devi with a posse of security personnel. Earlier in the day, the trial courts in Ranchi granted the release order to Prasad, in accordance with the Jharkhand High Court’s verdict, providing him provisional bail in three fodder scam cases on medical grounds.
The release order was granted in the three cases, in which Prasad has been convicted, his lawyer Prabhat Kumar told PTI. While special CBI court judge Shivpal Singh granted the release order to the RJD chief in two cases — RC 64A/96 (Chaibasa treasury) and RC 38A/96 (Dumka) — CBI court judge S S Prasad granted the release order in case number RC 68A/96 (Chaibasa), Kumar added.
The lawyer said said they completed the formalities of signing bonds and submitting sureties of Rs 50,000 each in the three cases to get the release order. He added that the period of bail would be effective from the day Prasad was released from the jail. A special CBI court had convicted Prasad on January 24 in the RC-68A/96 case, related to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.62 crore from the Chaibasa treasury, and sentenced him to five years of imprisonment.
The RJD chief was convicted in the RC64A/96 case, in connection with the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury in the 1990s, and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail on December 23 last year. The CBI court had held Prasad guilty in the RC 38A/96 case, pertaining to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from the Dumka treasury in the early 1990s, and sentenced him to 14 years of imprisonment. The authorities at the Birsa Munda jail had separately granted the RJD chief a three-day parole on May 10 to attend his elder son Tej Pratap Yadav’s wedding in Patna on May 12.
The time taken to travel was not included in the duration of the parole and Prasad had returned to the prison on May 14, a day after his parole expired. The 69-year-old former Bihar chief minister is suffering from diabetes, blood pressure, kidney problems and other ailments. Bhola Yadav said Prasad would go to Delhi, Mumbai and other places for specialised treatment during the bail period.
The RJD supremo has been in jail since December 23 last year, after being sentenced in the Deoghar treasury case. The over Rs 900-crore fodder scam cases are related to the illegal withdrawal of money from government treasury by the animal husbandry department in undivided Bihar in the 1990s when Prasad was the chief minister.