Lalu Yadav's bail plea in fodder scam rejected
The Jharkhand High Court on Friday declined bail to ailing RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who is presently in AIIMS Delhi, in a fodder scam case. This case against Prasad relates to fraudulent withdrawal of ₹3.76 crore from Dumka treasury during December 1995 to January 1996.
"The bench of justice Aparesh Kumar Singh rejected Prasad's bail application after finding that the leader was yet to serve about two months in custody to complete the half of the seven years sentence," said assistant solicitor general and CBI's counsel Rajiv Sinha.
The RJD chief has been languishing in jail since December 23, 2017, after his conviction in three fodder scam cases. He has already secured bail in two cases on the ground of completion of half sentence. He moved bail application in the third and last case on similar ground in the high court last year.
Prasad argued that he had completed half of the seven years sentence (42 months) in custody in the third case and urged the court to grant him bail.
Supporting his claim, the RJD chief, last month, had submitted several lower court orders with detailed computation of the period of his custody.
However, the CBI, the opposite party, vehemently opposed Prasad's claim and argued that the leader is yet to serve more than four months in custody to complete half sentence.
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 Act - in the said case. It had expressly said both sentences would run consecutively.
Prasad's lawyer Prabhat Kumar said that the high court, for the purpose of bail, was considering the maximum seven years’ sentence.
The RJD chief was handed over 3.5 years and 5 years in prison in earlier two fodder scam cases in which he had secured bail after completing half of the sentence.
Prasad, who had been undergoing treatment in custody for over two years in Ranchi's Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), was shifted to AIIMS New Delhi last month after his condition deteriorated.
The RJD chief had suffered a 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 Parliament and a ban on contesting elections. He was given bail by the Supreme Court in December that year. The leader is still facing trial in two fodder scam cases one each in Ranchi and Patna.
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