Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was sentenced to 3.5 years of jail time in a fodder scam case by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Saturday. The Court also fined Lalu Yadav Rs 5 lakh. The quantum of sentence was announced by the special CBI judge Shivpal Singh via video conferencing.
Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was sentenced to 3.5 years of jail time in a fodder scam case by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Saturday. The Court also fined Lalu Yadav Rs 5 lakh. The quantum of sentence was announced by the special CBI judge Shivpal Singh via video conferencing. The court also said if he fails to furnish the fine, his jail term would extend by six months. Apart from Lalu Yadav 20 others accused were present in the court when the quantum of sentence was pronounced.
The news was welcomed by both the sons of Lalu Prasad Yadav: Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav. However, they confirmed that they will be applying for a bail and looked confident of getting it. “The judiciary performed its duty. We will go to the High Court after studying the sentence and apply for a bail,” said the younger son Tejashwi Yadav.
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Meanwhile, the elder son, Tej Pratap Yadav said that they will not be cowed down. “We are confident that he (Lalu Yadav) will get bail. We have full faith on judiciary. We are not going to be cowed down,” he added. The judgement, on the other hand, mentioned that none of the convicts in the case can take bail from Ranchi Court. They will have to move High Court.
JDU leader KC Tyagi also welcomed the decison by saying that it will be a historic one in Bihar politics. “We welcome this judgement, this will prove to be a historic decision in Bihar politics. It is the end of a chapter,” Tyagi said.
The sentence was announced in the fodder scam case relating to embezzling of more than Rs 89 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994. On December 3, the court had pronounced Lalu and 14 others guilty in the case. Seven other accused were acquitted including former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra.
Lalu Prasad had, on Friday, sought a minimum punishment citing health issues. In his plea, Lalu mentioned, “I have no role in this scam directly; consider minimum punishment keeping in view my age and on health grounds.”
The fodder scam involved the embezzlement of about Rs 900 crore from the Bihar exchequer. The corruption scheme involved the fabrication of ‘vast herds of fictitious livestock for which fodder, medicines and animal husbandry equipment was supposedly procured over a period of 20 years’. The scam came to light in 1996.