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'24 Months in Jail is Nothing': SC Dismisses Lalu Prasad's Bail Plea in Fodder Scam Cases

The CBI had on Tuesday vehemently opposed in the apex court the bail plea of Prasad, saying the ailing leader suddenly claimed to be 'fully fit' to undertake political activities in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:April 10, 2019, 11:25 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea by RJD chief Lalu Prasad, observing the former Bihar chief minister had been sentenced to more than 25 years in jail in fodder scam cases. "We don't think we will release you on bail. The Special Leave Petition is dismissed," said a bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

The bench rejected Prasad's arguments that he has been in jail for 24 months, saying in comparison to the sentence awarded to him, 24 months was nothing. "You are convicted in four cases... you are roughly sentenced to 25 years in jail. These are the issues whether your sentences will run concurrently or consecutively, the High Court will decide."

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Lalu, complained that his appeal is not being heard. "Why should I be not released, what is the danger if I am released? Bail is the norm in all these cases," he said.

But the bench dismissed the bail plea and said that the appeals against Lalu’s convictions will be expedited by the Ranchi High Court.

In a scathing reply, the CBI had opposed the bail plea of the former Bihar chief minister, alleging that he is trying to mislead the court by seeking bail on medical grounds whereas his real motive is to carry out political activities for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Furnishing the list of politicians who visited Lalu in his special ward of the Ranchi hospital, the agency told the Supreme Court that Lalu's conduct does not warrant him any relief.

It maintained that Lalu has also attempted to give a false impression that he has been sentenced to just 3.5 years in jail for the Fodder Scam cases whereas the truth is that his jail term is die 27.5 years when all his sentences are cumulatively counted.

"During the period in which the petitioner remained in hospital, he is not only granted a special paying ward with all facilities but he is virtually conducting his political activities from there which would be clear from the visitors’ register," said the affidavit by the CBI.

It added: “The petitioner who claimed to be so unwell that he cannot even remain in jail but has to remain hospitalized suddenly claimed to be fully fit physically and sought bail, inter alia, on the ground which is recorded and rejected by the Hon'ble High Court.”

Questioning Lalu’s motive, CBI said that the person, who wanted to get bail to lead his party in coming Lok Sabha election in elections, has now come before the highest court of the country to get the reprieve by citing his medical conditions.

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