New Delhi: A special CBI court on Monday sentenced Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav to 5 years in prison and slapped a fine of Rs 60 lakh in the Rs 139.5 crore Doranda treasury embezzlement case.
Prasad has been convicted in four other fodder scams, which first came to light in January 1996.
The 73-year-old leader and 74 others were found guilty by the court on February 15. Charges in the Doranda treasury scam, Ranchi, were framed in September 2005. The prosecution closed arguments in May, 2019 and statements of the accused were recorded in January 2020.
The Doranda fodder scam is part of the Rs 950 crore scam linked to fraudulent withdrawal of public funds from government treasuries in various districts of undivided Bihar.
Of the total of Rs 950 crore, Rs 37.70 crore and Rs 33.13 crore were withdrawn from the Chaibasa treasury, Rs 89.27 crore from the Deoghar treasury, and Rs 3.76 crore from the Dumka treasury.
In June 1997, Prasad was named as an accused in the case for the first time in a chargesheet filed by the CBI. The trial in the special CBI court began in February 2002.
Prasad was first convicted in September 2013 in the case linked to illegal withdrawal of Rs 37.70 crore from the Chaibasa treasury. He was sentenced to over five years in prison and disqualified from the Lok Sabha. He was then granted bail by the Supreme Court in December that year.
The RJD supremo was again convicted by a special CBI court in December 2017 in the second scam case related to withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar treasury. He was given a jail term of 3.5 years and granted bail last July after completing half of the 3.5-year sentence.
Prasad was convicted for the third time in January 2018 and the verdict was 5 years of prison term. Two months later, the special CBI court had held him guilty in the scam related to withdrawal of Rs 3.76 crore from the Dumka treasury between December 1995 and January 1996. He was handed 7 years in prison.
After the Doranda conviction on February 15, an ailing Prasad was admitted to the jail hospital in Ranchi.
Another case linked to the fodder scam is being heard by the CBI court in Patna. This relates to money taken out illegally from the Banka-Bhagalpur treasury.