Ranchi, April 22 (PTI): Jharkhand High Court on Friday granted bail to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad in the Doranda Treasury Case in which a CBI special court had sentenced him to five years in prison.
73-year-old Prasad is in custody following his conviction and sentencing by a CBI court in February in a fodder scam case involving embezzlement of over Rs 139 crore from Doranda treasury.
“The Jharkhand High court has accepted our petition for suspension of the sentence and has granted bail. We had pleaded that he has served more than half of his five-year sentence in this case. Prasad has already served 41 months in jail …We had submitted the trial court’s certified copy in this regard. The court has granted bail,” Prabhat Kumar, counsel of Lalu Prasad told PTI.
Kumar said they had also pleaded for bail in view of his ill-health also as Prasad is suffering from various ailments.
“Prasad will be released soon. He will have to deposit Rs 10 lakh fine and two surety amounts of Rs 1 lakh each,” Kumar said.
Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh gave verdict on Lalu Prasad’s bail after Lalu’s lawyers and CBI counsel presented their arguments in the court.
The court rejected the argument of the Central Bureau of Investigation opposing Lalu Prasad’s bail in the Doranda Treasury case.
RJD leaders on being told of the bail order said they “had full faith in the judiciary”.
Jharkhand High Court on April 8 had deferred the hearing into a petition filed by the incarcerated leader challenging his conviction in a fodder scam case.
The former Bihar chief minister was sentenced to five years in prison and slapped a fine of Rs 60 lakh by a special CBI court in Ranchi in connection with the fifth fodder scam case involving embezzlement of over Rs 139 crore by Doranda treasury.
Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh was on April 8 informed by CBI, which is investigating the scam that the earlier order of the court to file a counter affidavit in the matter could not be complied with by the agency and pleaded for more time.
Prasad’s counsel Kapil Sibbal had told the court that his client has already served more than half of the sentence of five years in prison in the case and deserves to be released from custody.
Prasad was convicted by the CBI Court here on February 15.
On February 21 he was sentenced to five years imprisonment and fined Rs 60 lakh in the fodder scam case. Prasad had held the finance portfolio of undivided Bihar, of which he was the chief minister, during the period of the scam. He had allegedly received kickbacks through the animal husbandary department.