- Lalu Yadav, 5 convicts pleaded for reduced sentence citing poor health
- Judge suggests open jail for convicts to tend to animals, supply fodder
- Lalu Yadav was convicted in case linked to fodder scam by CBI court
The suggestion came from CBI court judge Shiv Pal Singh after various convicts pleaded for leniency on grounds of health or old age.
Lalu Yadav's lawyer Chittaranjan Sinha argued that his three-and-a-half year jail sentence should be reduced on account of the 69-year-old politician's health; citing the lack of medical facilities at the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Jharkhand, the lawyer referred to the former Chief Minister's open heart surgery and kidney problem and also suggested a fear of amputation if his diabetes was not under control.
Another convict urged the judge to reduce his sentence by six months so he could stay with his family.
The judge then suggested the open jail in Jharkhand for Lalu Yadav and the other convicts.
"Convicted accused are expert to supply feed, fodder, medicine to animals and some accused are doctor of animals, so it is recommended to state government that preferably use open jail which is running in Jharkhand state in Hazaribagh. The atmosphere of the open jail is good for convicted accused because they are old age. So they can serve easily awarded sentences and help in dairy..." the judge said in his sentence delivered through video-conference.
The open jail inaugurated in Hazaribagh in 2013 has 100 small cottages; each unit has one room, a kitchen and an attached bathroom.
On Saturday, Lalu Yadav, convicted in a case linked to the fodder scam involving the embezzlement of more than Rs. 89 lakh in government funds between 1991 and 1994, was also fined Rs. 10 lakh by the court in Ranchi.
Lalu Yadav is known to keep over a dozen cows at his home in Patna, besides running a Gaushala or cattle farm where there are more than 50 cows.
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