Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad was Saturday granted bail by the Jharkhand High Court in a case linked to the fodder scam.
The case pertains to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.5 crore from the Dumka treasury by Animal Husbandry Department officials between 1991 and 1996, when Lalu was the chief minister of Bihar. The trial court had held Lalu guilty under Sections 120 B (Criminal conspiracy), 420 (Cheating), 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 467 (Forgery of valuable security, will, etc.), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating) , 471 (Whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine) of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corrupt Act.
The trial court had ordered seven years imprisonment. His application for bail was later rejected in the sessions court. As per his lawyer, Lalu had already served 3.5 years in jail.
Lalu, 73, who was convicted in four cases related to the fodder scam, has already secured bail in the other three cases, and is likely to walk out of prison.
While pronouncing the order, Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh stated that the RJD chief had served half the tenure of his sentence in the case, said Niraj Ravi, assisting lawyer to the CBI counsel Rajiv Sinha.
Lalu is being treated at AIIMS, New Delhi. He was shifted to the hospital from Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi on January 23 after his health deteriorated. Lalu has been in hospital since August 2018.
Kapil Sibal, who attended the court session virtually, had earlier said the ailing RJD supremo has served more than half the sentence that was awarded to him and urged the court to release him on bail.
Lalu recently found himself in controversy over an alleged phone call to Bihar BJP MLA Lalan Kumar Paswan, in which he sought help in defeating the NDA’s candidate for Assembly Speaker’s post.