Ranchi: Former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who awaits sentencing in the fodder scam case, had complained of biting cold in a Ranchi jail where he is currently lodged.
The RJD chief, who was present before the CBI special court in connection with the fodder scam case yesterday, told the judge that he had ''done no wrong'' and that he found it "very cold" in prison.
According to a lawyer who was present in the courtroom, Lalu Yadav told the judge, "Sir, jail me thanda bahut lagta hai. (It is very cold in the prison.)"
The RJD leader added there were other problems too. "I am not allowed to meet people, he said."
The judge responded, ''That's why you are called to the court so that you can meet people. If you feel cold, then play harmonium or tabla to beat the cold."
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. You did not act on time. Please go. Today is not your (day) of sentencing."
The banter went on.
Lalu Prasad said, "Sir, I am also a lawyer."
"Then take a degree in jail," the judge replied.
"Sir, everything gets OK if one has a cool mind, " Lalu added.
To which the judge replied, ''I do not listen to anyone. Your well-wishers have been calling from far off places."
The judge then offered that video-conferencing can take place if the RJD leader had a problem coming to the court.
Lalu Prasad then said, ''No Sir, I have no problem, I will come to court."
Lalu Prasad's sentencing is expected today.
A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on December 23 convicted the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and 15 others in a case relating to the multi-million-rupee fodder scam.
According to lawyers, Lalu Prasad can be awarded three to seven years of punishment. If he gets three years jail term, he would get bail soon after sentencing.
Lalu Prasad is currently lodged at the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi.
(With IANS inputs)