Lalu Prasad's bail hearing deferred to Nov 27; release expectations delayed

Lalu Prasads bail hearing deferred to Nov 27; release expectations delayed

Ranchi: The Jharkhand High Court on Friday deferred till November 27 RJD chief Lalu Prasad's bail plea hearing in a fodder scam case related to Dumka treasury, after the CBI sought more time to file a written reply in the matter.

The former Bihar CM, convicted in four fodder scam cases, would be able to walk out of the jail if he acquires bail in the case. He has already secured bail in three other cases. Prasad's family and party supporters were expecting his release Friday but now they have to wait for more time.

The RJD president is in jail in Ranchi since 2018 December. Prasad's lawyer Kapil Sibal, who attended the court session virtually, said the ailing RJD chief, currently undergoing treatment at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi, has served more than half the sentence that was awarded to him in the case and urged the court to release him on bail.

Sibal told the court that out of total seven years of jail term in the instant case, Prasad has already spent 42 months and 26 days in the judicial custody, more than half of the total sentence time. The hearing in the case was held virtually in view of COVID pandemic.

The CBI objected to Sibal's assertion and said that it would take some time to file a written reply on Prasad's health condition and his incarceration in this case. Sibal, however, claimed that the probe agency was "deliberately" delaying the matter.

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