A Ranchi special court yesterday delivered punishment to seasoned Bihar politician and ex-Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, sentencing him to three and a half years of imprisonment and imposing a fine of Rs.10 lakh. The politician, who was found guilty in a second case of fodder scam, embezzled more than Rs.89 lakh of government money and was delivered a prison sentence of five years on October 3, 2013, a couple of days after he was convicted. The accused will now proceed to the High Court and apply for a bail after understanding the details of the sentence, as stated by his son, Mr. Tejashwi Yadav after an emergency meeting with the leaders of the Rashtriya Janta Dal. The verdict was given via video conference to Mr. Yadav, who is currently locked up in Ranchi’s Bisra Munda Jail.
Yadav’s lawyers had argued for the shortest prison sentence of three years, keeping his health in mind, in which case he could obtain bail from the special court. Lalu Yadav blamed the BJP for his sentence saying that he was a victim of political rivalry. Tejashwi Yadav also spoke in much the same tone stating that the BJP head is scared of his father. The BJP retaliated with its spokesperson, Mr. Sambit Patra saying that Lalu is in jail due to the social injustice he has spread.
The fodder scam, which happened during Lalu’s term as Chief Minister of undivided Bihar between 1990 and 1997, was for a sum of Rs. 970 crores where he was found guilty of obtaining money from the public for fodder and medicines for livestock, which never existed in the first place. He was found guilty in two of the five cases in the fodder scam. During his jail term in Ranchi, he received VIP treatment by virtue of him being an ally of then Jharkand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who even paid him visits. That situation has changed with the state now having a BJP government and Raghubar Das as Chief Minister.