CBI court sentences Lalu Prasad Yadav to 5 yrs’ imprisonment
In a major setback to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, a special CBI court in Ranchi on Monday sentenced him to five years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs.60 lakh on him in the Rs.139.35 crore fodder scam case.
Yadav, who was arrested in 2013 first, was granted bail later that year. After his arrest in 2017 in connection to other fodder scam cases, he walked out of jail in April 2021, after procuring bail. The former Bihar chief minister along with other accused was pronounced guilty by the court on February 15.
The Ex-Chief Minister was found guilty in four cases related to the Rs.950 crore fodder scam and is serving a sentence of 27.5 years of imprisonment. In the fifth case related to the scam, an FIR was lodged in the Doranda police station in 1996 and later the CBI took over the case for investigation.
Beside Lalu Prasad, the court had convicted 74 others, including former MP Jagadish Sharma, Public Accounts Committee president Dhruv Bhagat in the case while 24 were acquitted for want of evidence.
The CBI special judge S K Shashi also acquitted 24 accused, including 6 women for insufficient evidence. Lalu Yadav’s counsel has argued for lighter sentencing keeping his age in mind.
Initially, in case number RC 47 A/96, a total of 170 were accused of corruption, of which 55 have died, seven became witnesses, two confessed to the crime while six are still absconding.
During the hearing of the case in the CBI special court, 575 people testified on behalf of the prosecution, while 35 from the defendants. The probe agency produced 15 documents in the case.
Crores of rupees were illegally withdrawn in the name of transporting animals and arranging fodder for them in Bihar’s Animal Husbandry Department. The documents submitted by the department regarding the transportation were found to be fake. The vehicle numbers shown in the documents were of scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles.
The cases occurred during the period of 1990-1996. The Bihar CAG had sent the information about the graft to the government time and again, but the government did not pay heed to it.
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