Ranchi: In yet another setback for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad Yadav, a special CBI court in Ranchi on Saturday sentenced him to 14 years in jail and fined Rs 60 lakh in connection with the fourth fodder scam case involving fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from Dumka treasury in '90s.
Yadav who, along with 18 others was found guilty by the same court on March 19, was given two separate sentences of seven years each to be run consecutively.
The punishment was awarded by CBI Judge Shiv Pal Singh under various Indian Penal Codes (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Acts.
Charges against Yadav included cheating under IPC Section 420, criminal breach of trust by public servant under Section 409, forgery of valuable security under Section 467, forgery for purpose of cheating under Section 468, using a forged document as genuine under section 471, fraudulent cancellation, destruction of will or valuable security under Section 477, and criminal conspiracy under Section 120B.
The judge also slapped Yadav with a fine of Rs. 30 lakh.
Yadav will have to spend an additional one year if he failed to pay the fine.
Others who were also awarded long prison term and fines include former Regional Director of Animal Husbandry Department O P Diwakar, former IAS officer Phoolchand Singh, nine other Animal Husbandry officials, and seven former fodder suppliers.
The RJD chief's attorney Prabhat Kumar said his client would appeal the verdict in a higher court.
Yadav remains incarcerated in Ranchi's Birsa Munda Jail since last December 23 when he was convicted in the second fodder scam case involving fraudulent withdrawal of money from Deoghar treasury.
A fifth and final case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 139 crore from Doranda treasury in Ranchi is still pending.
Talking to reporters in Patna, Yadav's son and former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Tejaswi Yadav once again accused the NDA leaders of conspiring against his father while also alleging his father's life was in danger inside the prison.
"I am convinced Lalu ji's life is under threat because of the conspiracy hatched by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders," the heir-apparent to the party in the absence of his father, said.
BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, however, shrugged off the allegations saying if Yadav felt his life was in danger then he should take it up with a court.