The Jharkhand high court (HC) on Friday adjourned the hearing of a bail plea moved by Lalu Prasad Yadav, the chief of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), in connection with a case related to the Rs 950-crore fodder scam.
Prasad was convicted on corruption charges in the fodder scam and sentenced to five years of imprisonment in January, 2018.
The HC bench of Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh adjourned the hearing and fixed the next date for hearing on September 11 after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed that its counsel, assistant solicitor-general (ASG) Rajiv Sinha, was absent since he was unwell.
Prasad, who has been undergoing treatment in custody at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, moved the bail application on the ground that he had completed half of the five-year jail term in the case. He was found guilty of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.13 crore from Chaibasa treasury by furnishing fictitious expenditure for cattle, such as fodder, medicines and miscellaneous items.
Earlier, the former Bihar CM had suffered a jolt in the case on September 30, 2013, when a trial court in Ranchi had held him guilty in the first of the six cases against him. He was convicted for five years, was disqualified from Parliament and also banned from contesting elections in the future.
Later in December 2013, he had obtained a bail from the Supreme Court.
He has been in jail since December 23, 2017, after he was convicted in three other fodder scam cases in quick succession. He had obtained bail in one of the cases last year on the ground that he had served half of the 3.5 years jail term awarded to him.
“Since Prasad had completed half of the five-year imprisonment in June, we had filed a bail application in July. However, his bail plea came up for hearing for the first time on Friday,” said Prabhat Kumar, Prasad’s lawyer.
“The bail application in the third case is likely to be filed in November,” Kumar added.