NEW DELHI: In a huge setback to Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief has been sentenced to five years in jail in connection with the fodder scam case. His sentencing comes after he was convicted by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ranchi in the third case related to fodder scam earlier in the day.
The conviction is another jolt to the former Bihar chief minister, who is already lodged in jail in connection with another fodder scam case.
Another former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra who was also convicted in the case has also been sentenced to five years in prison by the Ranchi Court. Both Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra have been fined Rs 5 lakh each.
The fodder scam case pertains to the alleged fraudulent withdrawal from the Chaibasa treasury in the early 1990s. An amount of about Rs 33.7 crore was allegedly drawn against a sanction amount of just Rs 7.1 lakh.
Reacting to Lalu's conviction, his son and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav said: "people of Bihar believe that Lalu ji is a hero". He alleged that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had played a role in framing Lalu Prasad in fodder scam case.
"People know how BJP, RSS and more importantly Nitish Kumar have conspired against Lalu ji. We will approach higher courts against all these verdicts," he said.
Lalu is presently lodged in Ranchi's Birsa Munda jail. He had been convicted in the second fodder scam case on December 23, following which the court had handed him a three-and-a-half year sentence along with a fine of Rs 5 lakh on January 6.
His 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 sentence had made him the first elected official in India to be ejected from office under the then-new changes to the anti-corruption law.