Jharkhand High Court on Friday deferred Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad's bail plea hearing in a fodder scam case till November 27. This comes after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought more time to file a written reply in the matter.
The RJD chief, who has been convicted in four fodder scam cases, has already secured bail in three of them. He needs a bail in the fourth case, in order to walk out of jail. He has been in jail in Ranchi since 2018 December.
Lalu 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 the stipulated seven years of jail term in the case, Lalu Prasad has already spent 42 months and 26 days in judicial custody, more than half of the total sentence time.
The CBI objected to Sibal's assertion and said that it would take some time to file a written reply on the former Bihar chief minister’s health condition and his incarceration in the case. Sibal, however, claimed that the probe agency was "deliberately" delaying the matter.
Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh, after hearing all arguments, postponed hearing in the case till November 27.
The case pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from Dumka treasury when Prasad was the chief minister of undivided Bihar.
Earlier, on October 9, the high court had granted bail to the RJD president in a case related to alleged illegal withdrawal of money from the Chaibasa treasury, an offshoot of the Rs 900 crore fodder scam case.