Lalu Prasad Yadav gets bail in fodder scam case
On Friday, the Jharkhand High Court granted bail to RJD patriarch Lalu Prasad Yadav in connection to a fodder scam case related to Deoghar treasury. Lalu was given bail on two sureties of Rs. 50,000 and has been ordered to submit his passport. Meanwhile, the former chief minister of Bihar has to stay in jail, due to the conviction in other cases.
Backstory: The fodder scam was unearthed two decades ago
The fodder scam, popularly known as chara ghotala, was unearthed for the first time about two decades ago. In 1985, the then-CAG TN Chaturvedi noticed a delay in monthly account submissions and false expense reports from Bihar. On further probe, it was revealed that politicians and bureaucrats stole money under the pretext of purchasing livestock feed. As many as 64 such cases surfaced.
Charges against Lalu were proven, he was sent to jail
In total, Lalu has been convicted in four cases. In December 2017, he was found guilty of withdrawing Rs. 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar treasury and sentenced to 3.5 years imprisonment. A month later, he was sentenced to five years' jail term for looting Rs. 33.67 crore from the Chaibasa treasury. He was also held guilty of withdrawing Rs. 3.13 crore from the Dumka treasury.
Lalu was allowed to attend son's wedding, undergo medical treatment
Lodged in jail since December 2017, Lalu got parole in May 2018, to attend his elder son Tej Pratap Yadav's wedding. He also got provisional bail, which was extended several times, and ended on August 20. When Lalu cited health reasons for extension of bail again, Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh rejected it. He asked Lalu to surrender by August 30.
As Lalu stayed in jail, his son filled for him
Perhaps for the first time since it was formed, RJD went into Lok Sabha polls in the absence of Lalu. As he stayed in jail, his son Tejashwi Yadav stayed at the helm of affairs. Projected as Lalu's political heir, Tejashwi failed to strike a chord with voters. Despite allying with Congress, RJD failed to open an account in any of the 40 seats.