CBI Court in Ranchi Postpones Hearing on Lalu's Punishment Second Day in a Row

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav arriving at the CBI court in Ranchi on Thursday.

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Ranchi: For the second day in a row, a CBI special judge in Ranchi deferred the decision on the quantum of punishment to fodder scam convict and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad Yadav to Thursday after the former Chief Minister of Bihar asked him to think about the punishment with a cool head.

Yadav, who was accompanied by his lawyers and supporters amidst very tight security, was informed by Judge Shiv Pal Singh of the charges against. The CBI Special Court judge also told the RJD chief that he was quite familiar with his record and had the vigilance been strong during his tenure, this fodder scam would have never taken place.

The judge further informed Yadav that contempt notices were sent to his son Tejaswi Yadav, party leaders Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Shivanand Tiwari; and Congress leader Manish Tiwari who cast aspersions on the integrity of the court following the RJD chief's conviction by the same court last month.

Yadav was heard asking the judge to drop the contempt notices against his son and others but the judge ignored his request.

The RJD chief then asked Singh to think 'with a cool head' before announcing the quantum of punishment to him to which the judge said that if he wished, he could opt for a videoconference appearance tomorrow from his jail cell.

Security ultra tight at Ranchi Court  on Thursday.

Insisting to appear before the court in person, the judge said he would decide about it tomorrow.

The court scene on Thursday had some lighter moments as well particularly when Yadav complained about his cell being too cold.

"Try to play 'tabla' (to keep yourself warm)", the judge quipped.

As reported, the case, which is an offshoot of the much bigger fodder scam, relates to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 89.27 lakh from Deoghar treasury in 1997.

Altogether 16 persons were convicted in the case, including the RJD chief while six others, including former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra were acquitted in the case.

Yadav's supporters and family members have accused the CBI court of being biased against a 'dalit' leader while letting an upper caste politician (Jagannath Mishra) go scot free.


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