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Fodder scam: CBI court sentences RJD chief Lalu Prasad to 3.5 yrs in jail

Ranchi: A special CBI court on Saturday sentenced Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and seven others to three-and-half years in jail with a fine of Rs 5 lakh each in the fodder scam case.

Besides Lalu, other convicts include Phool Chand, Mahesh Prasad, Bake Julious,Sunil Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Sudhir Kumar and Raja Ram.

Judge Shivpal Singh pronounced the quantum of sentence for Lalu Prasad Yadav and the rest of the accused, via video conferencing.

Lalu's son Tejaswi Yadav, while addressing media, said that the party would move High Court after studying the sentence and apply for a bail.

The fodder scam relates to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994.

The arguments on quantum of sentence of IAS officer Beck Julius, political leader Jagdish Sharma, former treasury officer Krishna Kumar Prasad, fodder transporter/suppliers Gopinath Das and Jyoti Kumar Jha, ended on Thursday.

On a plea by three former IAS officers Beck Julius, Phoolchand Singh and Mahesh Prasad the court directed to lodge them in the higher division of Birsa Munda jail where RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav is given.

A total of 16 people along with Lalu Prasad Yadav were convicted in the case on December 23 while six others, including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, were acquitted in the case.

Lalu has been convicted in one of the cases of the fodder scam, wherein Rs 900 crore from the Bihar exchequer were siphoned off under the pretext of purchasing fodder for livestock, during '80s and '90s.

The RJD chief was taken into custody immediately after CBI court found him guilty and was sent to Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi.

Earlier on Friday, Lalu Prasad's advocate filed a plea before the Ranchi CBI court seeking minimum punishment for the party supremo on health grounds.

Lalu Yadav mentioned in his plea, "I have no role in this scam directly; consider minimum punishment keeping in view my age and health grounds."

Earlier, in 2013, he was convicted for a similar offence in Chaibasa treasury. He was released on bail, granted by the SC, three months after the conviction.

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