Lalu's wait to walk out of jail prolongs as court rejects his bail application in Dumka case

·3-min read

(Adding detail) Ranchi, Feb 19 (PTI) The Jharkhand High Court on Friday rejected Lalu Prasad's bail application in a fodder scam case, dashing the RJD president's chance of immediate release from jail.

Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh turned down Prasad's bail request in the Dumka treasury case, an offshoot of the multi- crore rupees fodder scam.

The court said since the RJD supremo has to serve two more months in jail to complete half of the tenure of his total sentence in the case, the bail plea is not granted and asked us to file a fresh application after two months,Prasad's lawyer Prabhat Kumar said.

Prasad has already acquired bail in three out of the four cases of the fodder scam in which he has been convicted and acceptance of his request in the case related to illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from the Dumka treasury could have helped him come out of the jail.

The court was also slated to hear another matter relating to violation of jail manuals by Prasad, but it could not do so because of paucity of time and posted it for next hearing on February 26.

On direction of the court, the Ranchi based RIMs has submitted reply on health of imprisoned RJD leader and also sending him to AIIMS Delhi .

The RJD chief was airlifted to AIIMS Delhi on January 23 last.

The hearing into the RJD chief's bail application went for 2.5 hours.

Prasad's lawyer Kapil Sibal, who participated in the hearing virtually from Delhi, argued that his client has spent 42 months while CBI contented that he has completed 37 months and 19 days and hence bail should not be provided.

The court after perusing papers related to the claims of both the sides concluded that Prasad has spent 40 months of sentence in the case.

The court asked him to file a fresh application after two months.

A special CBI court in Ranchi had in March 2018 sent Prasad to 14 years in jail and fined Rs 60 lakh in the fourth fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of money from Dumka treasury in the early 1990s.

CBI judge Shiv Pal Singh had awarded two separate sentences of seven years each to Prasad under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Acts.

Both the sentences will have to be served consecutively.

In the first fodder scam case, dating back to 2013, the RJD supremo was convicted for illegal withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury.

He got five years' prison term in the case following which he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.

In Patna, Prasad's family members as well as party leaders were glued to their TV screens waiting for the good news from Ranchi. But, their hope did not come true.

RJD spokesman Shakti Singh Yadav said outside Rabri Devi's residence in Patna that they were hopeful of an ailing Lalu ji getting bail and coming back home.

'We have high regards for the judiciary and accept the court's verdict,' he said. PTI IKD SNS SNS