The Jharkhand High Court on the request of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has granted one week’s time to the central agency to file its reply to the bail application filed by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.

The court has fixed the date for the hearing on April 22.

“To file a counter, CBI was given time till March 11. Till date, they haven’t filed a counter-affidavit and pled for the last chance. The court, accepting their plea, has given another week’s time; April 22 fixed for hearing,” said Prabhat Kumar, lawyer of Yadav.

Kumar further said that the CBI didn’t file a counter-affidavit as required on March 11 intentionally so that Lalu Ji stays in prison longer.

“Lalu Ji’s treatment is underway at the prison. Krishna Mohan Prasad and three-four others have been granted bail,” he added.

The Rs 950-crore fodder scam (the total scam of five fodder scams, Lalu has been proven guilty of) relates to the fraudulent withdrawal of public funds from government treasuries in various districts of undivided Bihar.

Yadav was declared guilty on February 15. Of the 99 accused in the case, 24 were acquitted, while three-year jail terms were pronounced for the 46 accused. He has been found guilty of illegal withdrawals of Rs 139.35 crore from the Doranda treasury by a special CBI court in Jharkhand’s Ranchi.
Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court had asked Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav to file a reply on the plea challenging the Jharkhand High Court order granting bail to him in a case related to the fodder scam.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai agreed to hear a plea challenging the Jharkhand High Court order granting bail to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and asked the RJD leader to file a reply on it.

Earlier in February, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court had sentenced Yadav to five years imprisonment in the fifth fodder scam case and imposed a fine of Rs 60 lakh on him.

The scam came to light after a raid conducted by Deputy Commissioner of Chaibasa Amit Khare at the Animal Husbandry Department in January 1996.

The CBI was roped in by the Patna High Court in March 1996 after increasing pressure to investigate the case. The CBI registered an FIR in the case at a time when Bihar was still undivided.

In June 1997, Yadav was named an accused in the case for the first time in the charge sheet filed by the CBI. (ANI)