Lalu sentenced to 3.5 years Jail in fodder scam

Lalu sentenced to 3.5 years Jail in fodder scam

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav sentenced to 3.5 years in jail and Rs 5 lakh fine by Ranchi CBI court in a fodder scam case. Last year, Nitish Kumar dissolved his alliance with Lalu Yadav and the Congress and partnered with the BJP instead. The court had acquitted six accused including former Bihar Chief Minister and JD (U) leader Jagannath Mishra.

Special CBI judge Shivpal Singh announced the sentence after hearing arguments on quantum of sentencing. Lalu was subsequently disqualified from contesting elections for 11 years. After spending two months in jail, Supreme Court granted bail to Prasad in the first fodder scam case.

Lalu was found guilty in another fodder scam case in 2013 after which he had to resign from his Lok Sabha seat. His son Tejashwi Yadav said that they will approach the high court and also apply for bail after studying the sentence.

If the quantum of sentence was less than three years, thebail plea would have been moved before the trial court itself, he said.

"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.

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Last month the anti-corruption court found Yadav guilty of fraudulently withdrawing almost $140,000 from the state treasury in a larger fraud dubbed the "fodder scam", which was worth about 10 billion rupees ($157 million).

The case pertains to an alleged withdrawal of Rs. 89.27 lakh from Deoghar district treasury between 1994 and 1996.

He was convicted by the court on December 23, 2017, and has been lodged in Birsa Munda prison since then.

Earlier in the day, Lalu's wife Rabri Devi has called an emergency meeting to decide the individual roles for party leaders in likely absence of the RJD chief.

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