RANCHI: Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for his role in the multi-million fodder scam case. This is the second jail term that Lalu has received in relation to the fodder scam.
The sentence was pronounced by video conferencing at a special CBI court in Ranchi on Saturday. The court also handed Lalu a fine of Rs 5 lakh, and said his jail term would be extended by six months if he fails to pay it.
The court handed the same sentence to the seven others convicted in the case - Phool Chand, Mahesh Prasad, Bake Julious, Sunil Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Sudhir Kumar and Raja Ram.
This is the second case in the fodder scam that Lalu has been convicted in. He faces three more cases. The first conviction had come in September 2013, when the court handed a guilty verdict to Lalu and his predecessor, Jagannath Mishra.
Lalu had received a sentence of five years in the first case. This made him the first legislator in India to be ejected from elected office as a result of a conviction, under the then-new changes to the anti-corruption legislation.
The conviction in the second case had come on December 23. The court convicted Lalu and seven others, while acquitting Jagannath Mishra and five others. Lalu had been held at the Birsa Munda prison in Ranchi.
Lalu had on Friday filed a plea of leniency on the grounds of his age and health issues. "Lalu has diabetes, blood pressure; he almost fainted yesterday," his lawyer said on Friday. The leniency plea also included the rationale that he had no direct role in the scam.
The case pertains to the fraudulent overnight withdrawal of about Rs 90 lakh from government treasury in Deoghar, then in undivided Bihar.