BJP leaders of Bihar say judgement will act as a corruption cleaner
A special CBI court sentenced Rashtriya Janata Dal party chief and former chief minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, to five years in prison in connection with the fodder scam. Former chief minister Jaganath Mishra of Congress party was sentenced to four years in prison.
Jagdish Sharma, ruling Janata Dal (United) member of Parliament (MP) has also been sentenced to four years imprisonment. Former RJD MP R K Rana has been sentenced to five years in jail.
Court also pronounced prison sentences for the 42 others who have been convicted in the case their sentences range from three to five years in prison.
CBI judge P K Singh delivered the sentence to all the accused through video conferencing. Yadav, who was the last of the convicts to be handed the sentence, pleaded with the judge that he was innocent and was in no way involved in the scam.
Yadav has been also fined a sum of Rs 25 lakh. Mishra and Sharma have been fined Rs 30 lakh each.
All the 45 accused were convicted for fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.5 crore from the Chaibasa treasury. The case was being heard for the past 17 years.
The recent Supreme Court ruling that bars convicted elected representatives from contesting elections for six years has added to Yadav’s woes.
The conviction and sentence would mean he will not be able to contest the election for a minimum of 11 years. He will remain in jail for five years and face the bar on contesting election for the next six years.
Senior BJP leaders in Patna have welcomed the court decision and termed the judgement as “corruption cleaner” in the country.
Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, a senior RJD leader said that the party will approach the higher court for justice. “We honor the court judgement but Yadav is innocent. We will take the case to a higher court,” he said.
Yadav lost his chief minister’s post after being convicted in a case related to fodder scam few years back. The scam, estimated to be worth Rs 950 crore, was detected in the 1990s.
All the convicts are lodged in the Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi.
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