Patna: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader and three-time Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has today been sentenced to five years in jail and fined Rs 60 lakh in a fifth case linked to the fodder scam. Last week, the RJD leader was convicted in the case, involving the illegal withdrawal of Rs 139.50 crore from the Doranda treasury as part of a fodder scam that was orchestrated in the 1990s, during Yadav’s tenure as Chief Minister.
Lalu Yadav was found guilty along with 39 others, and the ailing leader, who is out on bail, joined the court hearing through video conferencing. Following his sentencing on February 15, the 73-year-old politician was taken to the jail hospital in Ranchi.
Yet another case linked to the fodder scam is pending before the CBI court in Patna. The total amount of money involved in the scam is estimated at Rs 950 crore, which was meant to buy animal fodder but was embezzled from multiple government treasuries across Bihar. The Animal Husbandry Department allegedly issued fake bills to facilitate the scam.
The RJD supremo has challenged his conviction in four cases, in which he has been sentenced to 14 years in prison. He has so far secured bail in all four cases, related to Dumka, Deoghar and Chaibasa treasuries. In prison since December 2017, the former Bihar CM has served most of his sentence at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Jharkhand, though he was shifted to Delhi in January 2021 after his health worsened.
The fodder scam came to light in January 1996 after a raid at the Animal Husbandry Department. The CBI named Yadav as an accused in June 1997, and framed charges against him and former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra. In September 2013, a trial court convicted Yadav, Mishra and 45 more people in one of the cases related to the scam, following which Yadav was sent to Ranchi jail.