Lalu sentenced to 3.5 years in jail in fodder scam case

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Ranchi- RJD supremo Lalu Prasad was on Saturday sentenced to three and a half years jail in a fodder scam case.

Lalu heard the sentencing from jail via video conferencing.

JDU on Saturday welcomed the fodder scam verdict and hailed it as historic decision in Bihar politics. "Lalu Prasad Yadav has blessings of the almighty and we have faith that he will get justice". He has been accused in five cases of fodder scam and convicted in two. The Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ranchi also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief.

"An open jail is best for these people (convicts), as they also have experience of cow farming", the judge was quoted as saying by the ANI.

Tejashwi, against whom a contempt notice has been issued by the CBI court for criticizing its December 23 judgement whereby Lalu was convicted, said, "The lower court has pronounced its judgement which we respect".

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Last month, three soldiers went missing when an avalanche hit their outpost Gurez - their bodies recovered days later. Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti also expressed grief and prayed for peace to the departed souls.

Lalu Prasad Yadav's advocate on Friday had filed a plea before Ranchi Special CBI Court demanding minimum punishment to the RJD Chief on health grounds.

He was convicted by the court on December 23, 2017, and has been lodged in Birsa Munda prison since then.

On the other hand, BJP and its ally JD (U) said that no one is above the law, after the RJD said its leader has fallen prey to a "conspiracy" by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the saffron party.

Soon after the announcement of quantum of punishment, RJD leaders said that they would appeal against the sentence in a higher court. "He was chosen (by the people of Bihar in an election) and he's in jail", said the former Deputy Chief Minister in the Grand Alliance government.

The CBI court had acquitted another former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and five others in the case, relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury between 1990 and 1994.

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