THE SUPREME Court on Wednesday dismissed RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s plea for bail in the multi-crore fodder scam cases.
“We don’t think we can release you on bail,” a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna observed on his appeal against the Jharkhand High Court order dismissing his bail plea.
Appearing for Lalu, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said the RJD chief had been held guilty in four cases and had served jail terms of 24 , 22, 20 and 14 months respectively. Joining issue, CJI Gogoi said he had served a total of only 24 months in four cases and he had to undergo sentences consecutively. Sibal replied that Lalu only had to spend 14 years in prison, but the court did not agree.
The senior counsel said there was no danger of the RJD chief running away, but the court said “there is no danger except that you are a convict”. The CJI observed that it had directed setting up of special courts to expedite criminal cases involving politicians and it could ask the concerned court to transfer the matter to the special court. “Let the High Court decide the merit of the case in appeals against your conviction and sentence,” the bench said. Opposing his bail plea, the CBI has told the court that granting Lalu relief “would not only be against” the court’s “zero tolerance policy in corruption… but would also be setting a very wrong precedence in all corruption cases”.