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Lalu convicted in fodder scam, to lose LS seat

The Supreme Court has ruled that a legislator convicted in a case where the minimum sentence is two years in jail will lose his/her seat immediately.

Updated:September 30, 2013, 11:34 AM IST
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Lalu convicted in fodder scam, to lose LS seat
The Supreme Court has ruled that a legislator convicted in a case where the minimum sentence is two years in jail will lose his/her seat immediately.

Ranchi: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad will lose his Lok Sabha membership after he was convicted by a special Central Bureau of India (CBI) court in Ranchi in one of the cases - RC 20 A/96 - of the multi-crore fodder scam on Monday. Lalu faces a minimum jail term of three years and a maximum of seven years.

As per a recent Supreme Court judgement a legislator convicted in a case where the minimum sentence is two years in jail will lose his/her seat immediately.

According to a CBI lawyer the sentencing in the case will take place on October 3 and Lalu will be sentenced to a minimum jail term of four years. "The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on October 3. Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra will be given four or more then four years of punishment," said CBI lawyer Arvind Kumar Singh.

While seven of those convicted have got less than three years in jail and have been granted bail, Lalu Prasad along with another former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra and 36 others have been taken into custody and will be sent to jail as they will be given a jail term of more than three years. The sentencing on October 3 will be delivered through video conferencing.

Lalu, who ruled Bihar for 15 years, has been convicted by special CBI judge Pravas Kumar Singh and faces disqualification as a Lok Sabha MP if he is sentenced to more that two years in jail and his political future could be in jeopardy. He will not be taken into custody as of now but only after the quantum of punishment is announced on October 3.

Lalu was one of the 45 people facing charges in the RC 20 A/96 case and had been charged with fraudulent withdrawing Rs 37.7 crore on fake fodder bills from Chaibasa treasury in the 1990s. Chaibasa was then part of undivided Bihar and is now in Jharkhand.

There were a total of 56 accused in the case. But during the trial, seven accused died, two turned approver, one admitted to the crime and one was discharged. Lalu and Jagannath are accused in a total of five fodder scam cases.

Lalu quit as Bihar chief minister on July 25, 1997 when his name figured in the CBI investigations in the scam, which surfaced in 1996. After stepping down, he rather surprising pulled his wife Rabri Devi out of the "chowka" (kitchen) and made her the chief minister and continued to rule through proxy.

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