Ranchi: Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad was on Friday granted bail in a fodder scam case, but the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President will remain in jail for his involvement in other cases.
The Jharkhand High Court on Friday granted bail to Lalu Prasad in the Chaibasa treasury fraud case. Justice Apresh Singh granted him bail on the ground of spending half of his jail term in the Chaibasa case. He was awarded five years' jail term in the case.
The instant case pertains to fraudulent withdrawal amounting to Rs 33.67 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in undivided Bihar, when Prasad was the chief minister.
Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh asked the RJD boss to submit two personal bonds of Rs 50,000 each and deposit a penalty of Rs 2 lakh to secure bail.
The court also sought Prasad's medical report from authorities of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences(RIMS) in Ranchi, where he is undergoing treatment for various ailments, and details of everyone he has met since his admission to the state-run hospital.
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, along with advocate Devarshi Mandal, pleaded that the 72-year-old leader be granted bail as he has completed serving half the jail term handed to him in the Chaibasa case.
Earlier, Prasad was granted bail in Deoghar treasury case, pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs 89 lakh. He is currently facing trial in Doranda treasury case.
The scam, which had come to light in 1992, involved embezzlement of Rs 950 crore from the state exchequer for the purchase of fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle.
Lalu Prasad has been convicted in four fodder scam cases. In 2013, he was convicted in the first case. He was convicted in three other cases of fodder scam in 2017 and 2018.
During the last hearing on September 11, the CBI had opposed the bail plea of Lalu Prasad on the ground that he didn't complete 30 months (half the sentence) in jail. The ex-Bihar CM had contended that he had completed 29 months in jail, which was almost half of his jail term of five years.
Though the veteran leader has got bail in two cases, he will remain in jail for his involvement in the Dumka treasury fraud case, in which he has been awarded two consequent seven-year jail terms.
At present, Lalu Prasad is staying at the Kelly Bunglow designated for the Director of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) in Ranchi.
After his conviction in four fodder scam cases, Lalu Prasad was staying at the paying ward of RIMS, instead of the Birsa Munda central jail on health grounds.
He was shifted to the RIMS Director's bungalow due to coronavirus fear. The RJD chief has been in RIMS for over two years now. The BJP had questioned the move to shift him to the Kelly Bunglow.
In a separate case, the high court has sought explanation from the jail administration for shifting Lalu Prasad to the RIMS Director's residence.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS feeds)