Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad was found guilty by a CBI court in Ranchi on Tuesday in the fifth fodder scam case, which involves the illegal withdrawal of Rs 139.5 crore from the Doranda treasury.
On February 21, the court will hear arguments about the length of his sentence and issue an order the same day. After being taken into custody on Tuesday evening, the ailing Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, 73, was taken to Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences.
He had asked the court for permission to stay in a hospital’s paying ward due to his poor health. According to Lalu’s lawyer Prabhat Kumar, Special Judge S K Sashi on Tuesday asked the superintendent of Birsa Munda jail to look into the matter.
Lalu has already been found guilty in four previous cases and is currently on bail, owing to the fact that he has already served half of his sentence. Another case involving the illegal withdrawal of funds from the Bank of Bhagalpur’s treasury is currently pending in the CBI court in Patna, Bihar.
According to court records, the accused persons were charged in the fifth case on September 26, 2005. On May 16, 2019, the prosecution evidence was closed. On January 16, 2020, the accused persons’ statements were recorded.
“The court sentenced 34 defendants to three years in prison and fined them between Rs 20,000 and Rs 2 lakh,” Defense Counsel Kumar said.
Amit Khare, the then-Chaibasa deputy commissioner, was the first to uncover the Rs 950 crore fodder scam. In various districts of undivided Bihar, the Animal Husbandry Department allegedly issued fake bills for large disbursements from government treasuries.
“We had filed a petition to the court seeking direction to place Lalu Prasad in RIMS paying ward, stating that his medical condition is critical,” Defense Counsel Kumar said. We presented the court with AIIMS, Delhi’s advice, which recommended four-hourly doctor consultations and daily urine level monitoring.
We had submitted an application because this was not possible in jail. After reading our application, the judge forwarded it to the jail superintendent.”