Lalu Prasad Yadav Gets 3.5 Years Jail Term

Lalu Prasad being taken to the Special CBI court in Ranchi

Lalu Prasad sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in the second of five fodder scam cases. The conviction means he can not contest an election and he faces at least one more case.

In the first fodder scam case, Lalu was sentenced to five years in jail. The former Chief Minister, who was in Ranchi's Birsa Munda Jail, received his sentence through video-conference.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court had on December 23 convicted the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and 15 others in a case relating to the multi-million-rupee fodder scam.

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"We are confident that he (Lalu Yadav) will get bail".

The court also said if he fails to furnish the fine, his jail term would extend by six months. The 1997 fodder scam case had virtually brought down his political career.

RJD leader and son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav today claimed that BJP would have given his father title of "Raja Harischandra" had he aligned himself with the party.

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"An open jail is best for these people (convicts), as they also have experience of cow farming", the judge was quoted as saying by the ANI.

However, the court could not pronounce the quantum of punishment on January 5 as well and the sentencing deferred for one more day. The case pertained to fraudulent withdrawal of ₹84.5 lakh from the Deoghar district (now in Jharkhand) treasury during the period 1991-94.

Prasad's counsel Chittaranjan Sinha said his client would filed an appeal next week against the verdict in the Jharkhand high court.

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Tejashwi, against whom a contempt notice has been issued by the CBI court for criticizing its December 23 judgement whereby Lalu was convicted, said, "The lower court has pronounced its judgement which we respect". "He was chosen (by the people of Bihar in an election) and he's in jail", said the former Deputy Chief Minister in the Grand Alliance government.

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