Lalu Prasad jailed for 5 years in fodder scam: As it happened

A special CBI court sentenced RJD chief Lalu Prasad to five years in prison and imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh in fodder scam.

Zee Media Bureau/Kamna Arora/Manisha Singh

Ranchi: A special CBI court on Thursday sentenced RJD chief Lalu Prasad to five years in prison and imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh in fodder scam. Lalu, Jagannath Mishra and 43 others were convicted on charges of fradulently withdrawing Rs 37.70 crore from the Chaibasa district treasury. With Thursday`s sentencing, Lalu Prasad becomes the second politician to lose membership of Parliament in line with a Supreme Court ruling.

7:00 pm: BJP welcomes sentencing of Lalu

The BJP welcomed the sentencing of Lalu Prasad and others in the fodder scam. “BJP feels this is a very important milestone in the fight against corruption. The whole country was up against corruption and wanted results," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

5:15 pm: Lalu is a hero: Rabri Devi

Lalu Prasad is a hero and will remain a hero in future too, says his wife Rabri Devi.

4:46 pm: When I have not done any crime, how have I been punished, asks Lalu Prasad Yadav

Reacting to the jail term of five years in fodder scam, Lalu’s instant reaction was - "When I have not done any crime, how have I been punished?" The RJD chief asked the question at the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi over video conferencing facility. Judge Pravas Kumar Singh retorted: "You can appeal in the higher court."

4:30 pm: Will appeal in High Court, says Rabri Devi

Talking to a news channel, Lalu’s wife, Rabri Devi said that the RJD chief did not get justice. She also said that they will appeal in the High Court against the verdict and also go before the people.

4:08 pm: Ex-CBI chief demands life term for Lalu

An agitated former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Joginder Singh says RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav should have been given a life term in jail. He adds that the VIP culture in jails should be curbed.

"I think he is getting free boarding and lodging for the next five years. I think the law needs to be changed. And why should my money be spent on a prisoner if he is capable of paying for himself? The law should be changed and the prisoner should be made to pay for his stay in the jail, it is so in America also. And just jail is not enough," said Singh.

4:02 pm: Protest outside Ranchi jail

RJD workers protest outside Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi, where party chief Lalu Prasad has been lodged.

3:45 pm: Kiran Bedi on Lalu`s sentence

On microblogging website Twitter, former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi tweets that Lalu`s five-year jail term and Rs 25 lakh fine imposed on him are not enough. "We must recover proceeds of crime too! Only then crime will stop paying...In Lalu`s crime its known how much he fraudulently withdrew and benefits he has had since. Punishment to be salutary must recover moneys too."

Bedi adds that judiciary needs to set Lalu`s case as an example to deter others that they cannot "enjoy proceeds of crime and trade off with few yrs in jail".

3:28 pm: Too early to write obit, says Sushil Modi

Commenting on Lalu`s five-year jail term, head of Bihar BJP and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said it would be "too early to write obit. It all depends if higher courts give any relief or not".

3:27 pm: Conspiracy against Lalu, says Rabri Devi

Rabri Devi, the wife of Lalu Prasad, exclusively told Zee Media that there was no evidence against her husband in the fodder scam case. Calling it a conspiracy by his opponents, the former Bihar CM said the RJD would fight the verdict electorally. Asked who would run the party affairs now, an angry Rabri Devi said Lalu Prasad would stay at the helm of the affairs.

"Laluji has become a victim of political conspiracy as there was no proof against him," Rabri Devi said. "We expected justice from the court but are disappointed."

3:20 pm: Kirti Azad hails `landmark judgement`

This is a landmark judgement. As you sow, so shall you reap, says BJP MP Kirti Azad on Lalu sentence.

3:06 pm: CBI lawyer on Lalu`s quantum of sentence

Outside the court, the CBI lawyer said the judge felt it was necessary to sentence Lalu to five years in jail. This is the decision of the honourable court.

3:05 pm: Uma Bharti alerts corrupt leaders

On microblogging website Twitter post Lalu`s sentencing, firebrand BJP leader Uma Bharti tweeted: "Be alert, corrupt leaders. Be ready, nobody can save you."

3:03 pm: `RJD workers not demoralised`

We`re not demoralised by the sentencing, says RJD`s Ram Kripal Yadav, adding the party expected this right at outset. "Laluji is innocent, he is a victim of political conspiracy. The BJP and Nitish (Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar) are behind this," said Yadav.

3:02 pm: How can Lalu lose his Lok Sabha seat, asks SP

Underlining that Lalu can appeal in higher courts, Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Naresh Agarwal says how can the RJD chief lose his Lok Sabha seat only by the lower court`s verdict. It`s wrong, adds Agarwal.

2:56 pm: `No leadership trouble within RJD`

Ruling out any leadership trouble within his party, senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the RJD will appeal against Lalu`s conviction in higher court.

2:55 pm: `People will be scared after Lalu`s verdict`

Congress Party leader Jagdambika Pal says Lalu`s verdict will act as a deterrent for the political parties in future. MPs/MLAs will know they may lose post for their wrongdoings, he adds.

2:47 pm: `Lalu Prasad remains RJD`s top leader`

RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha says Lalu Prasad remains the party`s top leader. His sentencing will not affect the party`s morale. "We`ve never been as united as we are now. Our support base remains solid," added Jha.

2:43 pm: `Lalu`s sentence will affect RJD`

Reacting to the quantum of sentence on Lalu, JD(U) MP Sabir Ali said he does not think it will have more consequence for the Bihar politics as much as for the party.

2:46 pm: Lalu ceases to be MP

With Thursday`s sentencing, Lalu Prasad, the founder leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, becomes the second politician to lose membership of Parliament in line with a Supreme Court ruling.

2:45 pm: Lalu Prasad sentenced

Former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav gets five years in jail in the fodder scam case. He has been slapped with a fine of Rs 25 lakh. Another former CM Jagannath Mishra gets four years in jail.

2:35 pm: Court awards 5-yr imprisonment to BN Sharma

The CBI court awards five-year imprisonment to former district animal husbandry officer BN Sharma and imposes Rs 1.5 crore fine.

2:30 pm: Lalu arrives in Ranchi jail`s court room

Lalu Prasad Yadav arrives in Ranchi jail`s court room for sentencing in fooder scam case along with the other convicts.

2:15 pm: RJD to hold meeting on October 06

The RJD will hold a crucial meeting at the residence of Lal`s wife, rabri Devi. The October 06 meeting will be aimed at nominating the successor of Lalu as well chalking out the party`s future course of action.
1:50 pm: Sentence to be announced at 3:00 pm

Special CBI judge Pravas Kumar Singh is likely to pronounce the punishment at 3 PM through videoconferencing. The 65-year-old Prasad and other convicts are currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail of Ranchi.

12:35 pm: Raghuvansh Prasad Singh backs Lalu

Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh alleges that the UPA`s decision to withdraw the ordinance on convicted politicians is a conspiracy by the Congress, BJP and Janata Dal (United) to ensure that Lalu Prasad Yadav is framed in the fodder scam case.

Singh, who was talking to media ahead of Lalu`s sentencing in a fodder scam case, said: "The BJP wants that Laluji should be framed and try to gain political mileage out of it. The JD (U) also took into account the fact that it will gain if Laluji goes to jail." "I have given Gita to Laluji to read in jail," he added.

12:10 pm: CBI demands maximum punishment for Lalu Prasad

The Central Bureau of Investigation seeks maximum prison term of up to seven years for Lalu Prasad and other convicts. "We argued that he (Lalu) be awarded strictest punishment so that it be a lesson for others," says BMP Singh, CBI lawyer.

Also Read: Lalu Prasad - Prisoner number 3312 in Birsa Munda Jail

11:40 am: Arguments conclude

Arguments on the quantum of sentence to RJD leader Lalu Prasad and 36 other accused in the fodder scam case complete in a special court in Ranchi with the CBI seeking maximum prison term of up to seven years for them. Lalu`s counsel demands minimum sentence for the RJD chief keeping in mind his conduct and good performance as the then railway minister. The counsel also argued that the former Bihar CM is an eminent, senior citizen.

Also Read: Fodder scam: Lalu Prasad jailed for 5 years, to appeal in Ranchi High Court on Oct 17

Jagannath Mishra`s lawyer demands minimum punishment for him, citing poor health and old age.
Also Read: Lalu Prasad convicted in fodder scam: Key facts and timeline

11:25 pm: Arguments begin on sentencing of Lalu Prasad

Arguments on the quantum of sentence to be awarded to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, former Bihar chief minister Jagannth Mishra and others convicted in a fodder scam case begin in a Special CBI court in Ranchi.

According to legal experts, Lalu Prasad could be sentenced to a jail term of four to seven years. His lawyer told reporters that he would seek minimum sentence.

Lalu Prasad, Jagannath Mishra and 43 others were convicted in a fodder scam case RC 20 A/96 related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.70 crore from Chaibasa district treasury. After the division of Bihar, the district is now in Jharkhand.

The CBI court had on September 30 convicted all the 45 accused, including Lalu Prasad, in the fodder scam case.

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