Fodder scam case: Jharkhand HC grants bail to Lalu Yadav
Convicted in four fodder scam cases, the ex-Bihar CM will not be released from jail as he has been serving term in another fodder scam case in which he was sentenced to 14 years in prisonUpdated: Oct 09, 2020, 16:21 IST
The Jharkhand high court on Friday granted bail to jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in one of the fodder scam cases on the ground that he had completed half of the five-year sentence in said case.
The court’s order, however, doesn’t pave the way for the release of the former Bihar chief minister from jail as he has been serving term in another fodder scam case in which he was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Yadav has been undergoing treatment in custody at Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) for over two years.
The bench of justice Aparesh Kumar Singh granted bail to him on the condition that he would furnish two sureties of Rs 50,000 each and deposit Rs 2 lakh of Rs 10 lakh fine amount slapped on him along with the sentence.
The bench, however, sought replies from inspector general (IG), prison, and Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Central Jail (BMCJ) superintendent to furnish details of people who met Yadav in the hospital in the last three months and clarify whether these people had the requisite permission as per the jail manual.
The bench also sought a report from RIMS medical superintendent regarding Yadav’s current health status. It posted the matter for further hearing on November 7.
Yadav 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 Parliament and a ban on contesting elections. He was given bail by the Supreme Court in December that year.
On December 23, 2017, he was convicted in three other fodder scam cases in quick succession. Since then, he has been in jail.
Of these three cases, he secured bail in one of them last year on the ground that he had served half of the 3.5-year imprisonment awarded to him.
The high court granted bail to Yadav on Friday in the instant aforesaid case, which relates to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.13 crore from Chaibasa treasury against the annual allotment of Rs 7.10 lakh for the year 1992-93.
Of the four cases in which he has so far been convicted and sentenced to different terms of imprisonment, he has now secured bail in three of them.
But in the fourth and last case, the RJD chief is facing 14 years in prison – seven under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections and another seven under Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act. The trial court had expressly said both sentences would run consecutively.
Yadav’s lawyers hope that the high court will strike down this decision, and let the two sentences run simultaneously. If that happens, half of that seven-year sentence would be completed by November 10.
Yadav’s lawyer Prabhat Kumar said, “The high court, in matters of other convicts in the same case, suspended the sentence and considered a maximum (of0 seven-year imprisonment for reckoning the half sentence for bail purposes. In such a situation, he is completing half custody on November 10.”
“We are expecting his release from jail after November 10. We will file another bail application in that month only,” he added.