The Jharkhand High Court on Friday deferred the hearing of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav’s bail plea in the fodder scam-related Dumka Treasury case to November 27, reported ANI.
The hearing that was earlier supposed to be held on November 9, had to be deferred as the Central Bureau of Investigation did not file its arguments before the court, reported NDTV. Yadav’s lawyer Kapil Sibal accused the investigating agency of “deliberately delaying the bail plea”, according to the website.
The decision means a blow to the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s hopes that the party patriarch will come out of custody on November 9, a day ahead of the Bihar Assembly election results. Addressing a rally in Bihar’s Nawada last month, Yadav’s son and the Opposition’s chief minister candidate Tejashwi Yadav had asserted that his father will be released on November 9 and Nitish Kumar will have his farewell the next day.
Lalu Prasad Yadav has been in jail since December 2017 after being convicted in multiple cases in the fodder scam that was exposed in 1996, involving the embezzlement of around Rs 1,000 crore from the state exchequer for the purchase of fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle. Lalu Prasad Yadav was the chief minister of the state at the time. He has served most of his jail sentence in Jharkhand at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences hospital in Ranchi.
The case for which his bail plea is pending involves the embezzlement of Rs 3.5 crore from the Dumka treasury by Bihar’s Animal Husbandry Department officials between 1991 and 1996 during Lalu Prasad Yadav’s tenure, according to NDTV.