RJD chief Lalu Prasad was today sentenced to 3.5 years of imprisonment by a special CBI court in the second fodder scam case in which he was found guilty. The Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ranchi also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief. The sentencing was heard via video conference. His son Tejashwi Yadav said that they will approach the high court and also apply for bail after studying the sentence.
The 69-year-old RJD supremo, in a written plea on Thursday, had sought leniency from the CBI court citing illness and old age, according to his counsel Chittaranjan Prasad.
Earlier in the day, Lalu's wife Rabri Devi has called an emergency meeting to decide the individual roles for party leaders in likely absence of the RJD chief.
Media reports quoting the opinions of lawyers said that the veteran politician can be awarded three to seven years in prison. The Special CBI Court was supposed to sentence the convicts on January 3. The 1997 fodder scam case had virtually brought down his political career.
Lalu Prasad is also facing trial in three more cases relating to the fodder scam, also known as "chara ghotala".
The court had yesterday concluded arguments on the quantum of sentence against Prasad in connection with the withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury between 1990 and 1994 when he was the chief minister of Bihar.
There were 34 accused in the case, out of which 11 died during the trial, while one turned CBI approver and admitted to the crime.