SC dismisses bail plea of Lalu in fodder scam cases

New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of fodder scam convict RJD leader Lalu Prasad, foiling his attempt to seek freedom during poll season.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi dismissed Prasad’s bail application after the CBI said he was likely to indulge in political activities during the Lok Sabha polls.
It means the former Bihar chief minister, known for his wit and oratorical skill, will not be available for poll campaign for his party RJD and its allies during the general election.
Vehemently opposing Prasad’s bail plea, the CBI had said, “It is a case where grant of bail would set a very wrong precedent in cases involving serious corruption in high offices.”
Grant of bail to Prasad would be against the ‘Zero Tolerance Policy on Corruption’ of the Supreme Court, it had said.
Lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi, Lalu Prasad (71) has challenged the January 10 verdict of the Jharkhand High Court dismissing his bail application.
He has been in jail for the past 22 months following his conviction in the three fodder scam cases of fraudulent withdrawal of money from Deoghar, Dumka and two Chaibasa treasuries in Jharkhand. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years, 14 years and five years in prison in the three cases, respectively.
He is facing trial in another fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of money from Doranda treasury.
Lalu had cited old age and poor health condition for grant of bail. He had said that he was suffering from diabetes, blood pressure and other ailments and that he had already obtained bail in one of the fodder scam cases. He has been undergoing treatment at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, for the past few months.
But the CBI pointed out “that simultaneous raising of pleas for bails on medical grounds and bail to guide the party and to carry out all essential responsibilities as a party president in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections are mutually contradictory and manifest that in the garb of bail on medical grounds the petitioner in essence wants to pursue his political activities which is impermissible in law.”

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