Patna: The Jharkhand high court on Friday granted bail to RJD chief Lalu Yadav in a fodder scam case involving illegal withdrawal of funds from the Deoghar treasury.
The case was heard in the court of Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh who granted him bail on two sureties of Rs 50,000.
Lawyers, however, said that Mr Yadav will remain in jail since he has also been convicted in cases related to illegal withdrawal of funds from Dumka and Chaibasa treasuries.
“We had moved the court seeking bail for Mr. Yadav on grounds that he has already served half of his sentence in Deoghar treasury case. Since he is also serving jail term in Dumka and Chaibasa cases he cannot be released immediately”, Lawyer representing Lalu Yadav in the high court said.
Lalu Yadav has been languishing in jail since December 2017. He was shifted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) Ranchi in March 2018 after his health condition deteriorated.
The Jharkhand high court several times earlier had rejected his bail petition in connection with the case. The case pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 Lakh from Deoghar treasury between 1991 and 1994.
Fraudulent withdrawal from government treasuries and use of fake bills and vouchers had surfaced in 1996. The officials conducting raids in 1996 had found that money was paid to various non- existent companies for supplying fodder to the animal husbandry department.
The RJD chief is also facing trial in a fifth fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of money from Doranda treasury.
Five fodder scam cases were shifted to Jharkhand after the separation of the state from Bihar in 2001.
Sources claim that the court’s verdict came as a huge relief for the RJD which has been facing leadership crisis and differences among party office bearers.
Speaking about the issue, RJD spokesperson Shakti Yadav said that “the party has welcomed the court’s verdict and hopes to see him out of jail before 2020 assembly elections”.
Grand alliance leaders including the Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) also welcomed the Jharkhand High Court’s decision. HAM Chief Jitan Ram Manjhi who had criticized the RJD leadership after the Lok Sabha poll debacle said that “Lalu Yadav is a mass leader and has always raised his voice for poor and deprived”.