Lalu gets 3.5-yr jail, fined Rs 10L
A special CBI Court on Saturday pronounced three-and-a-half years’ jail term for RJD chief Lalu Prasad and also slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh on him in a fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago from 1991 to 1994.
The Special CBI Court of Shiv Pal Singh also pronounced punishments for other 15 convicted people in the case through video conferencing from the e-Court packed with advocates. “Do cow service in the jail and the money earned through it will go to the Government treasury,” said the judge. The court was also of the view that they may be shifted to the open jail for cow service so that it could also be used for a better purpose. Sixty-nine-year-old Lalu and other convicts were taken into custody immediately after the pronouncement of the verdict.
This is the second time that he has been jailed in the fodder scam.
Meanwhile, Lalu’s son Tejashwi Yadav said in Patna that they will move the High Court against his father’s conviction. “We will move High Court against Lalu’s conviction and appeal for bail after studying the court verdict,” he said.
The BJP and its ally JD(U) said no one is above the law.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the CBI court at Ranchi, by sentencing Lalu to jail in a fodder scam case, had upheld the charges he and others had levelled against the RJD supremo before the Patna High Court. The senior BJP leader also rubbished the “conspiracy” allegation levelled by the RJD against his party in connection with Lalu’s conviction by the court.
“Lalu and former Bihar Minister RK Rana have been pronounced 3.5 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh under sections 120(B), 420,467,471,477 (A) of IPC and Sections 13(2) read with 13(1) (c) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act,” said Lalu’s counsel Prabhat Kumar. They will have to undergo additional punishments of one year, if they fail to pay the fine imposed on them, he added.
Lalu, who was convicted in the second case on December 23, is at present lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail. Lalu was given a prison term of five years on September 30, 2013, in another fodder scam case. He was released on bail by the Supreme Court after having remained in jail for over two-and-a-half months.
The CBI special judge had on December 23 acquitted former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and five others in the case. In 1996, the Patna High Court had ordered an enquiry into the fodder scam cases and a charge sheet in the Deogarh Treasury case was filed against 38 people on October 27, 1997.
Eleven of them died and three turned approvers, while two other accused confessed and were convicted in 2006-07, a CBI official said.
On September 30, 2013, Yadav, Mishra and several others were convicted in another case pertaining to illegal withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from the Chaibasa Treasury in the early 1990s. Lalu faces another three fodder scam cases for illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.97 crore from the Dumka Treasury, Rs 36 crore from the Chaibasa Treasury and Rs 184 crore from the Doranda Treasury.
Kumar said former JD-U MP Jagdish Sharma has been sentenced 7 years’ jail, 20 lakh fine and two years of additional jail if he fails to pay the fine imposed on him.
Three retired IAS officers, including former Animal Husbandry Director Beck Julius, former Animal Husbandry Secretary Mahesh Prasad and former Finance Secretary Phoolchand Singh, have also been awarded 3.5 years’ imprisonment, Rs 10 lakh fine and one year of additional jail if they fail to pay the fine.
Another Government official Subir Kumar Bhattacharya has been awarded 3.5 years’ imprisonment with 10 lakh fine while Dr Krishna Kumar has been pronounced 7 years’ imprisonment with a fine of Rs 20 lakh and will have to undergo additional two years of jail if he fails to pay the fine amount.
Suppliers and contractors Raja Ram Joshi, Sunil Kumar Sinha and Sushil Kumar have been awarded 3.5 years of imprisonment, fine of Rs 5 lakh, who will have to undergo additional imprisonment of six months if they fail to pay the fine. Other suppliers Sunil Gandhi, Sanjay Agrawal, Jyoti Kumar Jha and Gopinath Das have been awarded imprisonment of 7 years and have been slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh and will have to undergo additional imprisonment if they do not pay the fine.
After the court pronounced the judgment, one of the convicted persons pleaded to reduce the sentencing from 3.5 years to 3 years citing bad health of his wife. The court asked him to approach the High Court, which has the right to even reduce his jail term to one year.
The court, however, cleared that he has given the judgment as per provisions under the law and said that he will never divert from it whether he gets condemnation or applause, whether gets monitory benefit or loss and whether meets death today or tomorrow.
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