Patna: The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Yadav was granted bail by the Jharkhand High Court on Friday in the Rs 139.35-crore Doranda Treasury case relating to the fodder scam, in which he had been convicted to five years in prison by a CBI special court. According to his counsel, the court took into account the senior leader’s poor condition.
“He will be released soon. He will have to deposit Rs 1 lakh surety amount and Rs 10 lakh as fine,” his lawyer said. The 73-year-old leader was convicted by a CBI court in Ranchi in the fifth fodder scam case pertaining to the illegal withdrawal of Rs 139.5 crore from the Doranda treasury.
The fifth and last case against Lalu Yadav in the fodder scandal, the Rs 139.5 crore Doranda treasury misappropriation case, was declared guilty. The former Bihar chief minister was one of the final offenders whose sentences were handed down in February. In the most recent fodder fraud case, 24 of the 99 defendants were acquitted, while 46 others were sentenced to three years in prison.
In four previous fodder fraud instances, the experienced commander had been sentenced to 14 years in prison. The last case included withdrawals of Rs 139.35 crore from the Doranda treasury while he was the chief minister of undivided Bihar. When he was re-convicted, he was free on bail.
During the 22-year trial, 55 defendants died, and eight became government appointees. Six of the accused are still on the loose.
Amit Khare, the then-Chaibasa deputy commissioner, was the first to uncover the Rs 950 crore fodder fraud.
In many districts of undivided Bihar, the Animal Husbandry Department reportedly created false invoices for huge payments from government coffers. The finance portfolio was also held by Lalu Yadav, who was the chief minister at the time.
Following his conviction in four additional instances involving the Dumka, Deoghar, and Chaibasa treasuries, the RJD supremo was granted bail in four other cases involving the treasuries of Dumka, Deoghar, and Chaibasa. In June 1997, the CBI listed Lalu as a suspect. Lalu and former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra, who died in 2019, were charged by the agency.
The 73-year-old leader’s counsel said in February that they will go to the High Court, noting the fact that he had virtually finished half of his term.