34 months or 42? Conflicting claims on Lalu’s jail stay adds twist to bail plea
The Jharkhand high court on Friday deferred hearing on RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s bail plea in connection with one of the fodder scam cases to December 11.
The former Bihar chief minister has been languishing in jail since December 23, 2017, after his conviction in three fodder scam cases in quick succession.
Prasad has already secured bail in two cases. He moved bail application in the third and the last case on the ground that he had completed half (42 months & 28 days) of the seven years sentence awarded to him in the case.
But, the CBI, in its reply, said that Prasad in this case had only completed 34 months and some days in custody, which is still about eight months short of the half-sentence mark.
In order to clear the ambiguity, Prasad’s senior lawyer Kapil Sibal sought two weeks’ time to furnish a detailed computation of the period served by his client in custody.
The bench of justice Aparesh Kumar Singh then posted the matter for further hearing on December 11.
The case relates to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.76 crore from Dumka treasury during December 1995 to January 1996.
A special CBI court, in 2018, had sentenced Prasad to 14 years of imprisonment--seven under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections and another seven under Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act-- in the said case.
It had expressly said that both sentences would run consecutively.
However, Prasad’s lawyers hope that the high court will strike down this decision, and let the two sentences run concurrently. If that happens, Prasad has to undergo seven-year imprisonment in this case.
The RJD leader, who has been undergoing treatment in custody at Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) for over two years, pleaded that he had completed half of the seven year sentence awarded to him in this case.
He argued that in earlier two cases he was granted bail on completing half of the sentences.
Prasad’s Ranchi-based lawyer Prabhat Kumar said, “According to our calculation, Prasad has completed 42 months and 28 days in prison. This is more than half of the seven-year sentence.”
Prasad had suffered a major jolt in the fodder scam case on September 30, 2013, when a trial court in Ranchi held him guilty in the first of six cases against him. The conviction got him five years in prison, disqualification from the Parliament and a ban on contesting elections. He was given bail by the Supreme Court in December that year.
His troubles renewed in 2017-18 when he was convicted and sentenced to different terms of imprisonment in three separate fodder scam cases in quick succession. He is still facing trial in two cases.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- The family of the man who was shot dead alleged that he was a victim of infighting in the local unit of the Trinamool Congress.
- Shrikant Sharma, a retired deputy commandant of Special Armed Force of the Madhya Pradesh police, had earlier objected to the setting up of an office of the RSS for the Ram Temple fund collection drive in his neighborhood.
- The woman's father had earlier lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against the youth from Karnataka for allegedly kidnapping his daughter and forcing her to change religion.
- The Speaker had initiated proceedings under anti-defection laws to decide if the merger of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) led by Babulal Marandi into the BJP in February, 2020, was valid.
- “There is no chance of her joining. She is not in the AIADMK party,” Palaniswami told reporters.
- The party leadership had reportedly told three senior leaders (Chandy, Chennithala and Ramachandran) who were summoned to Delhi two days ago that winning the election was top priority and to give more importance to the party than factions.