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Fodder scam: Lalu Prasad Yadav may finally be sentenced today

SNS | New Delhi |

The sentencing of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a case of fodder scam may finally take place on Friday, after being deferred twice and the judge hearing the case indicating that he was being threatened by Lalu’s men.

In a startling revelation, Justice Shivpal Singh, who is set to pronounce the quantum of punishment for the former Bihar chief minister on Thursday said that he “got phone calls from Lalu’s men”.

“I got phone calls from Lalu’s men about the case,” the judge said indicating that he might have been threatened to award a lighter sentence to Lalu.

Lalu is likely to get three to seven years’ punishment, as per reports. If he is awarded three years’ sentence, he will be able to get bail soon.

The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge deferred Lalu’s sentencing along with 15 others first on Wednesday on account of the death of two lawyers and then again on Thursday.

The quantum of punishment may now be pronounced on Friday.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief is at present lodged in the Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi after being convicted on December 23.

His co-accused and former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra was let off in the case pertaining to embezzlement of over Rs. 85 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994.

A total of 17 accused including Lalu were pronounced guilty by the court while six were let off.

The RJD chief has already been convicted in another fodder scam case that cost him his Lok Sabha seat and disqualified him from contesting elections. Both Lalu and Jagannath Mishra are out on bail in the case.

Hearing in the multi-million fodder scam case was completed on December 13 in a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court of Ranchi.

In all, there were 34 accused in the case, out of which 11 died during the course of the trial, while one turned CBI approver and admitted the crime.