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Jharkhand High Court denies Lalu bail in fodder scam case

Patna: In another setback to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad, the Jharkhand High Court on Friday denied him bail in the fodder scam case until the court receives all records relating to the case from the lower court.

Justice Apresh Prasad Singh declined to grant Prasad a reprieve, and deferred hearing in the case for two weeks.

Prasad is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central jail in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkahnd, after being sentenced to jail.

The politician was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court last month in a case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs8.45 million from Deoghar district treasury in the undivided Bihar.

The fodder scam cases had surfaced in 1996 while Prasad was chief minister of united Bihar. Jharkhand was then part of Bihar.

Although the RJD chief was convicted in two fodder scam cases last month, he had moved the High Court against his sentencing in the case relating to the Deoghar treasury.

Prasad had sought bail from the court on the ground that he was old, suffering from multiple health ailments and has been always cooperating with the court.

The High Court setback is not the lone worry for the RJD chief.

He has also been sentenced to five years in jail in another fodder scam case relating to Rs336.75 million from Chaibasa district treasury in Jharkhand — his third sentencing in five years.

Prasad is an accused in three more fodder scam cases in Ranchi relating to the “fraudulent” withdrawal of Rs39.7 million from the Dumka treasury, Rs360 million from the Chaibasa treasury and Rs1.84 billion from the Doranda treasury respectively. Reports said trials in all these cases reached advanced stage.

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