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Lalu sentenced to 3.5 yrs in prison, to move HC

RANCHI: RJD chief Lalu Prasad was on Saturday sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail by a CBI special court in a fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.
CBI court judge Shiv Pal Singh, who had convicted Prasad, along with ten others on December 23, also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on him for two cases in the scam.
He was fined Rs 5 lakh for each case, failing which he would serve another six months in jail, a CBI counsel said.
The court had convicted Prasad for offences of cheating, along with criminal conspiracy, under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The scam is related to withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deogarh Treasury between 1990 and 1994 when Prasad was the chief minister of Bihar.
The 69-year-old RJD supremo, in a written plea on Friday, had sought leniency from the CBI court citing illness and old age, according to his counsel Chittaranjan Prasad.
The RJD went into a huddle immediately after the pronouncement of the sentence.
This is the second fodder scam case in which Prasad has been jailed.
He was sent to prison for five years on September 30, 2013.
The Supreme Court granted Prasad bail after having spent over two-and-a-half months in jail.
Lalu Yadav has said his conviction is the result of political vendetta. After the sentencing, Lalu Yadav tweeted: "Rather than practising BJP's Simple Rule - "Follow us or We will Fix you". I will die happily fixing myself for Social justice, harmony & equality."
Tejashwi Yadav said, "He was chosen (by the people), and he's in jail... those who had not been elected is now in government... Amit Shah was scared of Lalu." The former Deputy Chief Minister is in the opposition after Nitish Kumar dissolved his alliance with Lalu Yadav and the Congress and partnered with the BJP.
We will move high court against Lalu Prasad's conviction and appeal for bail after studying the court verdict, said Tejashwi.
Senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said, "Bihar's people have finally got justice".
The sentencing, which was expected last week, had been deferred twice. On Wednesday, the judge said they would proceed with the arguments on the sentencing in alphabetical order.
The fodder scam involved the embezzlement of more than Rs. 970 crore in government funds during Lalu Yadav's term as the Chief Minister of undivided Bihar from 1990 to 1997.
Seeking to distance itself from corruption-tainted former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, Congress on Saturday said that the party is in alliance with the RJD, and not any "particular individual".
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