RANCHI : A Special CBI court on Saturday awarded three and a half years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs five lakh on former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad in a case related to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.4 crore from the Deoghar treasury.
The court of special CBI judge Shivpal Singh announced the punishment to Mr Yadav under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) 420 (cheating, dishonestly), 467 (forgery), 471 (forged record) and 477 (A) (falsification) of the Indian Penal Code.
The court imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh under Sections 13 (2) (prevention of corruption) read with Sec 13 (1) (c) (d).
In Patna, Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav held a meet with RJD party leaders and said, “The judiciary has performed its duty. We will go to the High Court after studying the sentence and apply for a bail”. Lalu who is currently lodged in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Jail, received his sentence through video-conferencing.
Former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted by a special CBI court in the 1996 fodder scam. After 20 years of investigation, the CBI court in Ranchi has found Lalu Yadav guilty of fraudulent withdrawal of public money worth 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury (then in Bihar, now in Jharkhand), between the years 1991 to 1994. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on 3rd January.
He was earlier convicted and sentenced to five years jail in the first fodder scam case of swindling money through fake receipts and vouchers of 37.50 crores from Chaibasa Treasury in 2013, which technically barred him from contesting elections for next 11 years, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify convicts jailed for more than two years.
Apart from the chief accused Lalu, the CBI special court also convicted 15 others in the fodder scam. It includes politicians like Jagdish Sharma and RK Rana, IAS officers Beck Julius, Phoolchand Singh and Mahesh Prasad, and other government officials Krishna Kumar and Subir Bhattacharya.
However, the special CBI judge Shivpal Singh acquitted the three-time former Congress CM of Bihar Jagannath Mishra and five other accused in the same case. After the conviction, Lalu Yadav and the other convicts were taken to Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Jail.
In the wake of Jagannath Mishra acquittal, RJD senior leader Raghuvansh Prasad, who was present in the court premises said, “Jagannath Mishra ko bail aur Lalu ko jail…ab yahi hai khel..(bail for Mishra and jail for Lalu, this is the game now.) When both are facing the same charges in the same case, how can one get bail and the other be jailed?”