The CBI told the Supreme Court on Friday that RJD supremo Lalu Prasad was playing badminton after being enlarged on bail in a fodder scam case on medical grounds, as it sought cancellation of the relief granted to the former Bihar chief minister.
Prasad’s counsel opposed any move to cancel the septuagenarian leader’s bail, saying he has undergone a kidney transplant recently.
The CBI has approached the court seeking cancellation of Prasad’s bail in the Doranda Treasury case, in which he has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the CBI, submitted that the Jharkhand High Court order granting bail to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader was ”bad in law” and ”erroneous”.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing Prasad, opposed the CBI’s application on account of the former union minister having undergone kidney transplant surgery.
Sibal told the bench that Prasad has already served 42 months behind bars in the case.
”He is playing badminton. He has been granted bail after his conviction in the case. I will demonstrate that the high court order is bad in toto. There’s a short question of law. Bail has been granted on the erroneous assumption that he has spent more than 3.5 years considering that sentences are concurrent and not consecutive,” Raju told the court.
Prasad has so far been sentenced in five cases of the Rs 950 crore fodder scam, which took place between 1992 and 1995 when he was the Bihar chief minister and held the finance and animal husbandry portfolios.
Huge amounts of money were withdrawn from different treasuries in Bihar and present-day Jharkhand on the basis of fake and forged bills and vouchers related to fodder, medicines, and artificial insemination. A bench of Justices AS Bopanna and M M Sundresh adjourned the matter to October 17.
In his reply to the CBI’s appeal seeking cancellation of his bail, Prasad has cited poor health and said no purpose would be served by keeping him in custody.
The Jharkhand High Court granted bail to Prasad, 75, on April 22, 2022, in the Doranda treasury embezzlement case.
The former Bihar chief minister was sentenced to five years in prison and slapped with a fine of Rs 60 lakh by a special CBI court in Ranchi in February 2022 in connection with the fifth fodder scam case involving embezzlement of more than Rs 139 crore from the Doranda treasury.