CBI court to pronounce punishment against Lalu today

Jan 06, 2018, 01:56
CBI court to pronounce punishment against Lalu today

According to lawyers, Lalu Prasad can be awarded three to seven years' punishment.

CBI special court in Ranchi on Friday deferred the quantum of sentence for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Yadav in a multi-lakh-rupee fodder scam.

During arguments on the point of sentencing, some citation of SC judgements were also produced where four years' punishment was reduced to one year in a similar corruption related case.

"He is 70 years old and has been virtually punished by making him do the rounds of court and jail to pursue the 21-year-long fodder scam cases", Kumar argued.

Lalu Prasad is at present cooling his heels in Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. The sentencing is likely to be pronounced over video conference.

In the plea filed hours before special court's pronouncement of quantum of sentence, Lalu's advocate cited poor medical condition of the RJD chief convicted in the fodder scam case on December 23. The case pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of money from the Deoghar treasury between 1991 and 1994.

ANI reported that the quantum of sentence was not announced today due to the death of advocate Vindeshwari Prasad. In addition to that, no direct evidence has been found against Prasad and the statements recorded by approvers have been produced as evidence which is just hearsay, hence a lenient view may be taken towards him, he added.

Sources in Ranchi told DH that CBI judge Shiv Pal Singh heard the arguments on behalf of five of the total 16 convicts in the fodder scam case RC 64A/96 through video-conferencing. With the court room packed, the judge asked the advocates not connected with the fodder scam case to leave.

Besides Yadav, the court on Friday heard arguments on the punishment of RJD leader R K Rana, former IAS officers Phoolchand Singh, Mahesh Prasad, former government official Subir Bhattacharya, suppliers/transporters Tripurari Mohan Prasad, Sushil Kumar Sinha, Sunil Kumar Sinha, Raja Ram Joshi, Sanjay Agarwal and Sunil Gandhi.

The judge responded: "That's why you are called to the court so that you can meet people".

The trial in the case was completed on 13 December in the special CBI court and 10 days later, he was convicted on 23 December.