Fodder scam: Citing poor health, Lalu Prasad seeks minimum sentence

  • Fodder scam: Citing poor health, Lalu Prasad seeks minimum sentence

Fodder scam: Citing poor health, Lalu Prasad seeks minimum sentence

Ahead of the special CBI court's sentencing for Lalu Prasad Yadav in the 1996 fodder scam case, the RJD chief on Friday moved an application before the court seeking minimum sentencing citing his poor health condition.

During the proceedings, the court said that Bihar vigilance Director General, Janata Dal (United) leader Jagdish Sharma and former Bihar Director General of Police D P Ojha are the main masterminds in the scam. The sentence to Lalu Prasad Yadav was originally supposed to read out on January 3 but was deferred till next day in wake of the demise of advocate Vindeshwari Parsad.

When Lalu Prasad claimed innocence in the scandal he is accused of, the judge remarked: "You were Chief Minister and in charge of the Finance department".

Lalu and 15 others were held guilty on December 23 in the case, which pertains to fraudulent withdrawals of around Rs 89 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury between 1990 and 1994, a part of the Rs 1,000 crore fodder scam in which government funds were embezzled in the name of cattle feed and medicines and equipment for animal husbandry. Six others, including Congress leader Jagannath Mishra, were acquitted in the case, while 15 others were convicted along with Lalu. The judge: "I do not listen to anyone".

Lalu Prasad is now lodged at the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi.

The court had, on Thursday, heard the arguments of the five convicts.

"All four have been issued notices as the court has found their comments on the verdict as contempt", Prabhat Kumar, a lawyer for Lalu Prasad told journalists in Ranchi.

The trial in the case was completed on 13 December in the special CBI court and 10 days later, he was convicted on 23 December. Eleven of them died and three turned approvers while two other accused confessed and were convicted in 2006-07, a CBI official said.

He added that the former Bihar CM had already been awarded five years of imprisonment in 2013 in fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37 crore from Chaibasa treasury. The Fodder Scam has one of the most controversial corruption cases in India, and was also responsible for ending Yadav's tenure as the Chief Minister of Bihar.