A Ranchi court awarded five years in jail and a fine of Rs 10 lakh to RJD chief lalu Yadav in a third fodder scam case on Wednesday, January 24, 2018.

Lalu has been serving his jail term, after being convicted in two fodder scam cases earlier. This time, he was sentenced after being accused of funds misappropriation in the third fodder scam case.

What does the RJD party has to say?

After his involvement was proven in the first fodder scam, Lalu was sentenced to serve jail term four years ago in the first case. He had served two months in prison after which his bail plea was approved.

After he was convicted for the second time by a Ranchi court in December 2017, there were protests by the RJD as well as their head honcho Yadav. According to RJD, it was out of political vengeance that their chief was subjected to these consequences. Lalu Yadav and his party were sidetracked from power last year after Nitish Kumar ditched the Grand Alliance with RJD and Congress and had decided to re-align with the BJP.

In the meantime, Lalu's son Tejashwi Yadav has said that they would move to higher courts against all verdicts in this fodder scam case.

“People know how the BJP, RSS and more importantly Nitesh Kumar have plotted against Laalu Ji. We will approach higher courts against all these verdicts.” The Times of India quotes Tejashwi as saying.

Lalu's involvement in the scam

The scandal involved theft of more than Rs 960 crores from the government’s reserves, during the period 1990 to 1997, when Lalu Yadav was the bihar Chief.

This month Lalu Yadav was convicted of being directly involved in the previous fodder scam cases. He has been accused of counterfeit withdrawal of Rs 89 lakh from the treasury at Deoghar district in between 1990 and 1994. He had appealed for bail, after being sentenced to three and half years term in jail – the hearing for this case is still going on.

This third case which comes while the bail plea for the previous cases are still on, Lalu Yadav has been proved guilty of being directly involved in embezzling funds worth Rs 33.67 crore. Reportedly, funds were siphoned off from the Chaibasa treasury against an allocated sum of Rs 7.10 lakh during 1992 – 1993. The Central Bureau of Investigation has found Mr. Yadav, the chief conspirator in this case.

After he was proven guilty in the first two cases, Yadav is serving his term in prison at the Birsa Munda Jail.

Along with the 69-year-old Yadav, the others accused in these case are Vidyasagar Nisha, Dhruv Bhagat, RK Rana, former chief secretary Sajal Chakraborty, two IAS officials Mahesh Prasad and Phool Chand Singh. Only six out of the total 56 accused have been acquitted so far.

The former chief minister of Bihar, Jagannath Mishra was acquitted in the earlier fodder scam case. But this time, along with Lalu Yadav, Mishra also has been proved guilty of misappropriation of government funds.

Lalu Yadav refuses transfer to open jail

Reportedly, Lalu Prasad has refused the judge’s offer to transfer him to an open jail where a prisoner can stay with his family. Reports say that Lalu has also asked Shivpal Singh, the judge hearing out one of the other two fodder scam cases to be “lenient” with him the next time.

What is the Fodder Scam

The Fodder Scam was a bribery scandal that involved the fraud of about ₹9.4 billion from the government exchequer of the Indian state of Bihar. The scandal led to the doom of Lalu's tenure as CM. More than 500 people have so far been accused, convicted and have been awarded sentences by numerous courts.

Although the scam occurred in 1996, the robbery had been in course, and grew in size, for over two decades.