Ranchi, Jan 5: Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Yadav has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail in connection with the fodder scam. The Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ranchi also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief. Judge Shivpal Singh pronounced the quantum of sentence via video conferencing. (ALSO READ – Lalu Prasad Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Jail: Who Said What) Also Read - Bihar Election Results 2020: RJD Supporter Brings Fish For Tejashwi As Token Of Luck

Lalu was found guilty in another fodder scam case in 2013 after which he had to resign from his Lok Sabha seat. Lalu was subsequently disqualified from contesting elections for 11 years. Also Read - Lalu Prasad Yadav To Remain In Jail, Bail Plea Hearing Deferred Till November 27

The court also said if he fails to furnish the fine, his jail term would extend by six months. Also Read - 'So Jaa Nahi Toh Gabbar Aa Jayega', Anurag Thakur Makes 'Jungle Raj' Jibe To Warn Bihar Voters

Apart from Lalu, Mishra and 20 others accused were present in the court when the quantum of sentence was pronounced. There were tight security arrangements outside the court.

Convicts Phool Chand, Mahesh Prasad, Bake Julious,Sunil Kumar, Sushil Kumar, Sudhir Kumar and Raja Ram sentenced to 3.5 years in jail and Rs 5 lakh fine each

Earlier today, while hearing the case, the judge said that ‘an open jail is best for these people (convicts), as they also have experience of cow farming.

Lalu’s lawyer had on Friday, January 5, filed a plea before Ranchi Special CBI Court demanding minimum punishment for the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief on health grounds. “I have no role in this scam directly; consider minimum punishment keeping in view my age and health grounds,” Lalu stated in his plea.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court had on December 23 convicted the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and 15 others in a case relating to the multi-million-rupee fodder scam.

Lalu Prasad is at present cooling his heels in Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. (Also Read: Lalu, Inmate No.3351, Spends Sleepless Night in Jail After Conviction in Fodder Scam)

The CBI court had acquitted another former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and five others in the case, relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury between 1990 and 1994. Lalu Prasad was the Chief Minister of then undivided Bihar from 1990 to 1997.  (Also Read: IPS officer who probed fodder scam says case has reached logical conclusion)

The trial in the case was completed on December 13 in the special CBI court and 10 days later, he was convicted on December 23. (Also Read: Key Facts And Timeline of Bihar Fodder Scam: Here’s all You Need to Know)

There were 34 accused in the case, out of which 11 died during the trial, while one turned CBI approver and admitted to the crime. The 16 convicted people include three former IAS officials Phoolchand Mandal, Beck Julius and Mahesh Prasad.

Lalu Prasad is also facing trial in three more cases relating to the fodder scam, also known as ‘chara ghotala’.