New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the CBI in an appeal filed by Lalu Prasad Yadav seeking bail in the fodder scam cases in which he has been convicted to undergo seven years imprisonment.
A Bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the CBI seeking its response in two weeks after hearing senior counsel Kail Sibal pleading for grant of bail to Lalu Prasad on the ground that he was unwell and had already spent 13 months in prison.
The Jharkhand high court had rejected Lalu’s plea for releasing him on bail. He had argued that he was wrongfully convicted by the trial court and should be enlarged on bail due to his poor health. Further, the upcoming general elections were also quoted as an additional ground to seek the grant of bail.
It was contended that being the founder of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, his presence was essential for the party in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. However, the High Court had held that there was enough evidence on record to show the involvement of Prasad in the fodder scam in question.
The high court rejected the plea for bail after noting that there was no urgent medical ground warranting the same. It was also observed that his medical conditions would continue to be assessed by doctors at Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences.
The high court had also turned down the argument that Lalu’s presence would be required for the Lok Sabha polls.In March, last year, a Special CBI Court awarded seven years imprisonment for his role in the fraudulent transfer of money to the tune of Rs. 3.76 crores from the Dumka Treasury between 1989 and 1995, during which time Lalu had served as the Chief Minister and Finance Minister. In December, he was also convicted for his role in the embezzlement of Rs. 89 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994. The present appeals are against the High Court orders.