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Lalu Prasad gets 5-yr jail term, fined Rs 60 lakh in fodder scam case

On February 15, Special Judge S K Sashi convicted 75 accused, including Lalu Prasad, while acquitting 24 others. The court awarded up to three years jail to 34 convicts and fined them between Rs 20,000 and Rs 2 lakh.

Lalu Yadav, fodder scam, Lalu yadav sentenced to 5 years in jail, Fifth fodder scam case, CBI court, Lalu yadav news, Indian expressRashtriya Janta Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. (PTI/File)

A CBI court in Ranchi on Monday sentenced RJD chief Lalu Prasad to five years in prison in a fodder scam case pertaining to illegal withdrawal of Rs 139.35 crore from Doranda treasury in 1995-1996. A fine of Rs 60 lakh was also slapped on him.

On February 15, Special Judge S K Sashi convicted 75 accused, including Lalu, while acquitting 24 others. The court awarded up to three years jail to 34 convicts and fined them between Rs 20,000 and Rs 2 lakh.

On Monday, the remaining 41 convicts were sentenced to three to five years rigorous imprisonment and fined a total of Rs 11.93 crore.

Lalu has already undergone judicial custody of three years and nineteen days, said Anant Kumar Vij, a defence lawyer. “The judge pronounced five-year jail term, of which he has already undergone more than three years in custody. Since he has already undergone half of the jail term, we will file a petition in High Court to grant him bail,” he said.

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After his conviction in the Doranda treasury case – the fifth one related to the fodder scam – the 73-year-old leader was lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail and then moved to the state-run Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi on health grounds.

The former Bihar Chief Minister has already been convicted in the previous four fodder scam cases – related to Dumka, Deoghar and Chaibasa treasuries. He is currently out on bail in those cases, on grounds that he has undergone half the sentence. One more case is pending before CBI Patna pertaining to illegal withdrawal of money from Banka-Bhagalpur treasury.

In the present case, the CBI said that the then animal husbandry officials in conspiracy with unscrupulous suppliers and others withdrew and misappropriated Rs 182.82 crore from Doranda treasury in Ranchi. This was done under the pretext of making payment to the suppliers, who submitted bogus bills showing supply of feed, fodder and veterinary medicines, the probe agency said in a statement.

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Involvement of politicians, including the then Bihar Chief Minister Lalu, bureaucrats and others came to the fore during the investigation. Three charge sheets were filed against Lalu, other politicians, bureaucrats, veterinary doctors, treasury officials, suppliers among others. During the investigation, an actual fraud of Rs 139.35 crore was found.

First published on: 21-02-2022 at 02:11:05 pm
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