Lalu may return home as Jharkhand HC grants him bail in a fodder scam case

Incarcerated RJD chief has been in jail since 2017; he has been granted bail in three other cases

Lalu, a fodder scam convict, was shifted to AIIMS, New Delhi from Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi by an air ambulance on January 23 | File Photo

Former Bihar chief minister and RJD leader Lalu Prasad, incarcerated since 2017 in a series of fodder scam cases from the early 1990s, is likely to return home as the Jharkhand High Court on Saturday (April 17) granted bail to him.

Lalu was serving his sentence in the ‘Dumka treasury case’, in which he was convicted of withdrawing ₹ 3.13 crore from the treasury in Jharkhand, which was earlier part of Bihar.

While pronouncing the order, Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh stated that the RJD chief had served half his sentence, according to Niraj Ravi, assisting lawyer to the CBI counsel Rajiv Sinha.

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“The bench of justice Aparesh Kumar Singh granted bail to Prasad on the condition that he would furnish two sureties of ₹1 lakh each and ₹10 lakh fine amount before the court below,” Sinha said.

Lalu, currently admitted in Delhi’s AIIMS, had earlier got bail in three of the four cases linked to misappropriation of government funds meant for cattle fodder. With the bail in the Dumka case, he can now return home after being released from the hospital.

The Dumka case involves the funds taken from the Dumka treasury by Bihar’s animal husbandry department officials between 1991 and 1996 when Lalu was CM. Last October, Lalu had been granted bail in the Chaibasa treasury case, also related to the fodder scam.

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In jail since December 2017, the 72-year-old has served most of his sentence at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital in Jharkhand. He was brought to Delhi in January after his health worsened.

Lalu recently landed in controversy over an alleged phone call to Bihar BJP MLA Lalan Kumar Paswan, in which he sought help in defeating the NDA’s candidate for Assembly Speaker’s post.