Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Yadav’s bail hearing in a fodder scam case, to be taken up today, has been deferred by six more weeks.
Reports suggest the hearing was put off as Lalu Yadav has not completed half his sentence, a requisite for his early release. There is a shortfall of 40 days.
The hearing was earlier deferred as the CBI didn’t file its arguments before the Jharkhand High Court.
Lalu Yadav, serving a four-year jail sentence for corruption, has been granted bail in many other cases linked to the swindle of government funds meant for cattle fodder.
This is the last case against Lalu Yadav and he expects to be released on bail this time.
In a hearing last month, his lawyer Kapil Sibal had accused the CBI of “deliberately delaying the bail plea”.
The “Dumka Treasury Case” involves Rs 3.5 crore taken from the Dumka treasury by Bihar’s Animal Husbandry Department officials between 1991 and 1996 when Lalu Yadav was Chief Minister.
Mr Yadav had in October been granted bail in connection with the Chaibasa treasury case, also related to the fodder scam. He remains in jail pending the hearing on the Dumka Treasury case.
The Rashtriya Janata Dal leader has been in jail since December 2017 after being convicted. He has served most of his jail sentence in Jharkhand at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) hospital.
In his absence, his son Tejashwi Yadav has been leading the RJD and has been credited with the party’s strong performance in the recent Bihar election. This was the first time in 40 years that Lalu Yadav missed a state election campaign.
Tejashwi Yadav’s party emerged as the largest but the opposition alliance fell short of a majority.
Tejashwi Yadav had said that his father would be released on November 9 after the bail hearing and it would be “farewell” for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar the very next day. But Nitish Kumar retained power, bolstered by ally BJP’s tally, with his own party placing third.