New Delhi: The Supreme Court issued notice to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday on a plea challenging the bail granted by the Jharkhand High Court in one of the fodder-scam cases.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, sought response from Yadav on the plea filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The CBI has challenged the July 12, 2019 order passed by the high court at Ranchi, saying it had "erroneously" suspended the sentence awarded by the trial court and released the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief on bail in one of the fodder-scam cases.
The high court had granted Yadav bail in the case of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar treasury on the ground that he had served half of his prison term of three-and-a-half years.
Yadav was convicted in four fodder scam cases pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of money from Deoghar, Dumka and Chaibasa treasuries in Jharkhand. He was convicted in two cases for fraudulent withdrawals from the Chaibasa Treasury.
Besides the Deoghar Treasury case, he has secured bail in one of the Chaibasa cases.
The RJD chief is also facing a fifth fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of money from Doranda Treasury.
Yadav has been in a prison here since December 2017.
The CBI in its plea said that in so far as Lalu's medical condition is concerned, it is only an trick to mislead the court as the "respondent who claimed to be so unwell that he could not even remain in jail but was required to be hospitalised, suddenly claimed to be fully fit physically and sought bail on the ground that being a Founder and President of Rashtriya Janata Dal, a political party, his release is required to guide the party and carry out all essential responsibilities as a President of the party in 2019 general election to the Lok Sabha".
"Thus, it was the case of the petitioner that the respondent has been awarded a total sentence of 31 years i.e. 372 months in four cases keeping in view the mandate of Section 31 and 427 of CrPC. In the present case, he has been awarded a sentence of 7 years... i.e. cumulatively 84 months out of which he has undergone only 31 months approx. i.e. 11 months approximately before the conviction and 3 months after the conviction in jail and for the remaining period of 17 months, he remained in hospital on medical grounds," the agency said.
The CBI said that that Lalu's case is completely distinct and different from the cases of other co-convicts as he was the "kingpin", the main conspirator and benefactor who devised and executed the fodder scam cases by abusing his official position and by dishonestly and fraudulently misappropriating the government money by withdrawing huge amounts in excess of actual allotments from District Treasury, Deoghar on the basis of forged allotment and sub-allotment letters.