Lalu complains of cold in jail, judge recommends playing tabla

Ranchi: Even in the midst of proceedings to decide the quantum of sentence in a fodder scam involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad, the leader did not miss to crack a funny joke when he told the judge that “it was very cold in jail” to which the judge replied play ‘tabla’.

A special court earlier deferred the sentencing of Prasad in the fodder scam case till Friday when it is likely to decide whether to pronounce the quantum of punishment over video conference or in court.

Prasad, known for his funny liners, said in the court, “It is very cold here (in jail)”.

CBI Special Court Judge Shiv Pal Singh, hearing the case, was quick to reply, “Then, play tabla (musical instrument)”.

During the course of proceedings in the packed court room, the judge told Prasad that he had read the latter’s record and had vigilance remained tight, such a thing (fodder scam) would not have happened.

The judge further commented that the RJD chief did not act promptly on which Prasad in his characteristic style said “I am also an advocate.”

Prasad is an LLB from Patna University.

The judge also informed Prasad about the contempt notices to RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Prasad’s son and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav, Congress leader Manish Tiwari and RJD leader Shivanand Tiwari.

On this, the RJD chief requested him to drop the notices.

Before being taken away from the court room, Prasad urged the judge to think with a “cool mind”.

When the judge said he could opt for video conferencing for hearing on arguments on the quantum of sentence on Friday, Prasad requested for personal appearance. The judge said he would decide on Friday about it.

The fodder scam relates to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar treasury 21 years ago.

While the sentencing of Prasad was deferred for Friday, the arguments on quantum of sentence of IAS officer Beck Julius, political leader Jagdish Sharma, former treasury officer Krishna Kumar Prasad, fodder transporter/suppliers Gopinath Das and Jyoti Kumar Jha, ended on Thursday.

On a plea by three former IAS officers — Beck Julius, Phoolchand Singh and Mahesh Prasad — the court directed to lodge them in the higher division of Birsa Munda jail where RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav is given.

In all, 16 persons along with Yadav were convicted in the

case on December 23 while six others, including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, were acquitted in the case.