CBI court orders 5-year jail for Lalu Prasad Yadav in fifth fodder case

The Asian Age.  | nayear azad

India, All India

The funds were illegally withdrawn through fake bills and vouchers in the name of arranging fodder and transporting animals

Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav arrives at special CBI court to appear in connection with the fodder scam case against him, in Ranchi. (Photo: PTI)

Patna: A special CBI court in Ranchi on Monday sentenced RJD chief Lalu Yadav to five years in prison and imposed Rs 60 lakh fine. This is the fifth fodder scam case in which he has been convicted. The case pertains to the illegal withdrawal of Rs 139.35 crore from Doranda treasury in 1995-96 when he was the chief minister of Bihar.

The funds were illegally withdrawn through fake bills and vouchers in the name of arranging fodder and transporting animals.  

Sources from Ranchi said that lawyers representing Lalu Yadav will soon file a petition in the high court for bail on health grounds.

RJD sources said that the court’s order came as a setback for the party and family as they were expecting “lighter punishment” considering his old age and health conditions.

In his reaction to the court’s verdict in the Doranda treasury case, Lalu Yadav’s younger son Tejashwi Yadav said, “This is not the last court verdict. We believe that the high court’s verdict will be in favor of Lalu Yadav and he will come out soon. But it seems that this is the only scam case (fodder scam) which institutions like CBI, ED and income-tax have spread like this. They have made six cases out of one which has happened for the first time in the country”.

He further said his father Lalu Yadav is being made to suffer for raising his voice against the BJP and RSS.

“He is the only leader in the country who raised voice against the BJP and the RSS that is why he is facing problems like this. You will see what will happen in UP elections,” RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said.

Special CBI judge S.K. Shashi had convicted 75 accused in the case, including Lalu Yadav, on February 15. Mr Yadav was shifted to a special paying ward at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, on health grounds.

On Monday before the quantum of sentence was announced, special arrangements were made at RIMS for online hearing.

Lalu Prasad was earlier granted bail in four fodder scam cases pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs 900 crore from Deoghar, Chaibasa and Dumka treasury.

Mr Yadav was sentenced to five year in 2013 in a case related to illegal withdrawal of Rs. 37 crore from Chaibasa treasury. He was granted bail in December the same year. The conviction in the case had barred him from contesting elections.

In December 2017 he was awarded three-and-a-half-year prison term in a case pertaining to illegal withdrawal of funds from the Deoghar treasury. In this case he secured bail in July 2021.

In January 2018, he was sentenced to five years in a case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.13 crore from Chaibasa treasury.

The special CBI court in March 2018 convicted Lalu Yadav for illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.76 crore for Dumka treasury.

One more case is pending before the CBI court in Patna. The case is related to illegal withdrawal of funds from Banka-Bhagalpur treasury.