Ranchi (Jharkhand): Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has been sentenced for three and a half years of jail in the fodder scam case by the Special CBI court here on Saturday. The special court held Lalu , Mishra and 14 others guilty in this case on December 3 where as seven other accused were acquitted including former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra. Lalu has to deposit a sum of Rs. 5 lakh as court has slapped fine on him.
Lalu has been sentenced in the case relating to embezzling of more than Rs 89 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994.
Shivpal Singh, the Special Judge, CBI court pronounced quantum of sentence via video conferencing. The court order further read that the jail term would be extended by six months in case Lalu fails to furnish the fine.
Light security arrangements were made in the court premises following the high profile case. Apart from Lalu, Mishra and others accused were present in the court when conviction was pronounced.
The defence counsel had pleaded before the court on Friday that a minimum punishment be given referring to Lalu’s health issues. In his plea, Lalu’s counsel mentioned that he had no role in the scam directly so it was requested that minimum punishment be considered citing his health and age.
Earlier the court was to pronounce quantum of sentence on January 3 but it continued to be deferred till today.It is mentionable here that the court had also found Lalu’s son Tejasvi Yadav and other party leaders Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Manoj Jha guilty of contempt of court.
On Tuesday, the special CBI Judge Shivpal Singh had observed he got phone calls from Lalu Prasad Yadav’s men, in connection with his conviction in the fodder scam case.
The judge also accused Lalu’s family members – his sons, Tej Pratap and Tejashwi – of mouthing casteist statements.
The judge added, “Laluji, we are getting a lot of references and calls for you, but I told your men that I will take the decision the way I want to, following the law.”
It is to be mentioned that Lalu has already been convicted in another fodder scam – Chaibasa treasury – case in which he was out on bail but the conviction cost him his Lok Sabha seat. As a result of which he had been disqualified from contesting elections.
The infamous fodder scam case involved the embezzlement of about Rs 900 crore from the Bihar exchequer. The scam came to light in 1996.