Fodder scam case: Court to decide fate of Lalu Prasad Yadav today

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The Ranchi Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court will now pronounce the quantum of sentence against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad in connection with fodder scam on Friday.

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

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.

When Lalu Yadav appeared in the court for the proceeding of the quantum of sentence he informed the judge that it is very cold inside the jail to which the judge asked him to play tabla.

The court deferred the matter in wake of demise of advocate Vindeshwari Parsad.

It had deferred announcing the punishment against Prasad and others for the second consecutive day on Thursday.

Deferring the judgment to Friday, judge Shiv Pal Singh said that he would decide whether or not to give the sentence over video conferencing.

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The sentencing of Lalu Yadav, who is lodged at the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi, is expected today.

To this, Lalu said he was for personal appearance and assured the court that there would be no slogans raised in the courtroom by his supporters.

The ex- Bihar chief minister told the judge, "It was very cold in jail".

"All four have been issued notices as the court has found their comments on the verdict as contempt", Prabhat Kumar, a lawyer for Lalu Prasad told journalists in Ranchi.

In 1996, the Patna High Court had ordered an inquiry into the fodder scam cases and a charge sheet in the Deogarh treasury case was filed against 38 people on 27 October, 1997.

The 15 accused in the case, including Lalu, have been convicted for offences of cheating with criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

He added that the former Bihar CM had already been awarded five years of imprisonment in 2013 in fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37 crore from Chaibasa treasury. If he gets three years' punishment, he would get bail soon after sentencing.

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