After change of wind, Lalu moves HC for bail

After change of wind, Lalu moves HC for bail

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. File photo

Emboldened over the winds of change that uprooted BJP regime in three States of Hindi heartland, RJD chief Lalu Prasad has moved Jharkhand High Court for bail on the ground that his party required his presence for the preparations of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Lalu, who has been incarcerated in Ranchi after being convicted by the lower court in fodder scam, has pleaded in his petition before the HC that he was the national president of the RJD and was, therefore, the only person authorised to select a candidate for the different Lok Sabha constituencies for the ensuing 2019 polls.

“Without my signature, the Election Commission will not allocate symbols to the candidates. And as per the rules, I cannot vest my power to any other person,” a source quoted Lalu’s petition moved in the Jharkhand High Court.

 In Jail Since Dec 2017 

Lalu is serving jail sentence since December 2017 after being convicted in fodder scam for fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakhs from Deogarh treasury. He was awarded three and a half years of imprisonment. He was convicted again in January this year in the second case for illegal withdrawal of Rs 33.13 crore from Chaibasa treasury. This time, he was awarded a jail sentence of five years.

In the third fodder scam case, Lalu was awarded 14 years of jail term on March 19. This case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.76 crore from Dumka treasury.

Incidentally, Deoghar, Chaibasa, and Dumka are now in Jharkhand but were part of undivided Bihar when the scam took place in the mid-90s. Lalu was then Bihar Chief Minister and was, therefore, found guilty as he also held the portfolio of Finance Minister.

“We have moved for regular bail in the Jharkhand High Court as so far none of the CBI witnesses have ever pointed to the direct involvement of Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam,” said Lalu’s lawyer Prabhat Kumar in Ranchi. 

Multiple Ailments

Lalu has also highlighted his poor health condition as one of the grounds for seeking bail. Presently, undergoing treatment at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, Lalu is suffering from multiple ailments. This includes chronic kidney disease, hypertension, perianal abscess and Type-2 diabetes. After undergoing specialised treatment at Asian Heart Hospital in Mumbai this year, Lalu was treated at AIIMS, New Delhi also, before being shifted to RIMS in Ranchi.