The Jharkhand High Court on Friday rejected the bail petition of ailing Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, in fodder scam case involving illegal withdrawal from Dumka treasury.
As Lalu has served more than half of his seven-year jail term—44 months—his lawyers, Prabhat Kumar from Ranchi and Kapil Sibal from Delhi argued, through video-conferencing, in favour of bail. Besides, his health condition has also been cited as a reason. But the single bench rejected the plea of Lalu’s lawyers.
The CBI lawyer, however, opposed the bail plea. Lalu had already got bail in three other fodder scam cases in which he had earlier been convicted.
The issue of bail from the Dumka treasury has been in the news throughout the last year’s Assembly election campaign when his son and party’s chief ministerial candidate, Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, used to say in speeches that on November 9 his father would get bail from Jharkhand High Court and on November 10 chief minister Nitish Kumar would be voted out of power (Lalu ki rihai aur Nitish ki vidai).
His prediction proved wrong as on November 9 the court put off the hearing and a day later Nitish-led National Democratic Alliance managed to win the election by a slender margin.
As most of the party workers were expecting that Lalu Yadav would be granted bail, the rejection of his bail plea gas come as a setback to them. It was on January 23 night that ailing Lalu Prasad was shifted to AIIMS, New Delhi from Ranchi jail after his condition worsened. He is still under treatment.