“We will urge the court to award a lesser sentence to Lalu keeping in view that there was no direct evidence against him. Also, he was Union railway minister and is also suffering from several ailments including diabetes and hypertension,” Sinha said. However, special public prosecutor for the CBI BMP Singh said, “All convicts take such stand. We will request the court to award maximum punishment to the convicts as the charges have been proved beyond an iota of doubt”. Former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, also convicted in the case, is undergoing treatment at Ranchi’s Rajendra Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). He will either be shifted to jail or produced before the court on Thursday as there is no videoconferencing facility in the hospital.
“The court may defer the date of pronouncement of sentences with respect to Mishra,” said senior advocate of high court BM Tripathy. Out of the 45 people convicted, 34 -- including Lalu – are lodged at Jharkhand’s Birsa Munda Central Jail since Monday. The court had released eight convicts on bail the same day as they were sentenced to three years imprisonment. The court had also issued arrest warrant against three convicts who failed to appear before the court.