The quantum of sentence against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and 15 others in the Rs 950 crore fodder scam case was deferred for the second time on Thursday. The quantum is now expected to be pronounced by a special CBI court tomorrow, reported news agency ANI. The former Bihar chief minister was convicted in the case on December 23, 2017 and sent to Birsa Munda prison in Ranchi.
The sentencing, which was to take place on Wednesday, was initially deferred to today as a mark of respect to two members of the legal fraternity who had recently passed away. However, today, the Ranchi court said the quantum of sentence will be pronounced on Friday.
On Wednesday, RJD leaders Tejashwi Yadav, Raghuvansh Singh, Shivanand Tiwari and Congress leader Manish Tiwari were held in contempt of court for their statements to the media following Lalu’s conviction. The court has sought their responses by January 23.
The fodder scam case pertains to the embezzlement of Rs 950 crore from government treasury funds to non-existent companies for the purchase and supply of cattle fodder in Bihar. The scam was unearthed in the mid-90s when Lalu was chief minister of the state. The court had, however, found Lalu’s predecessor and former chief minister Jagannath Mishra not guilty and acquitted him of all charges. In the first fodder scam case, Lalu was sentenced to five years in jail. The RJD chief;s conviction has debarred him from contesting in elections for 11 years, in line with the Supreme Court judgment which forbids those awarded a jail term of more than two years from contesting.
(With inputs from agencies)