CBI court to pronounce punishment against Lalu Today

Ranchi, Jan 5- The CBI court will pronounce today the quantum of punishment against RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and 10 others in a fodder scam case, his counsel said on Friday.

The RJD supremo appeared before the court of CBI special judge Shiv Pal Singh for the argument on the punishment through video conferencing from Birsa Munda central jail, where he has been lodged since his conviction on December 23, and in a written plea sought leniency due to his illness and old-age, Prasad’s counsel Chittaranjan Prasad said.

CBI court to pronounce punishment against Lalu Today
CBI court to pronounce punishment against Lalu Today

“The judge said he would pronounce judgement at 2 pm on saturday,” Chittaranjan Prasad told reporters after emerging from the videoconferencing hall here.

The court concluded arguments on the quantum of punishment against Prasad and 10 others in connection with the withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury between 1990 and 1994 when he was the chief minister of Bihar.

CBI court to pronounce punishment against Lalu Today
CBI court to pronounce punishment against Lalu Today

Besides Yadav, the court today heard arguments on the punishment of RJD leader R K Rana, former IAS officers Phoolchand Singh, Mahesh Prasad, former government official Subir Bhattacharya, suppliers/transporters Tripurari Mohan Prasad, Sushil Kumar Sinha, Sunil Kumar Sinha, Raja Ram Joshi, Sanjay Agarwal and Sunil Gandhi.

The court had heard pre-sentencing arguments in alphabetical order on Thursday of former IAS officer Beck Julius, Gopinath Das, RJD leader Jagdish Sharma, transporter/suppliers Jyoti Kumar Jha and Krishna Kumar Prasad.

It had deferred announcing the punishment against Prasad and others for the second consecutive day on Thursday.

The court had on December 23 convicted all the 16 accused in the fodder scam while acquitting six others, including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra.

The court had convicted Prasad for offences of cheating with criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Under the sections, Prasad can be sentenced to a minimum jail term of one year and maximum of seven years, his advocate Chittaranjan Prasad had said.

In 1996, the Patna High Court had ordered an inquiry into the fodder scam cases and a charge sheet in the Deogarh treasury case was filed against 38 people on October 27, 1997. Eleven of them died and three turned approvers while two other accused confessed and were convicted in 2006-07, a CBI official said.

On September 30, 2013, Yadav, Jagannath Mishra and several others had been convicted in another case pertaining to illegal withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa Treasury in the early 1990s. The conviction on December 23 last is the second in the scam.

Yadav faces another three fodder scam cases for illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.97 crore from the Dumka Treasury, Rs 36 crore from the Chaibasa Treasury and Rs 184 crore from the Doranda treasury. PTI