THE Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the bail plea of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav in three cases related to the multi-crore fodder scam.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna refused to interfere with the order of the Jharkhand High Court which had earlier rejected Yadav’s bail plea.
The bench rejected Yadav’s arguments that he has been in jail for 24 months, saying that in comparison to the 14-year sentence awarded to him, 24 months was nothing.
In the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the RJD supremo, argued that there were no recoveries and no demand and the only major offence under which he was convicted was “conspiracy”.
However, the bench said the merits of the case would be decided by the high court: “At present, we are only hearing the bail appeal.”
“If I am released on bail, I won’t run away. My appeal is not being heard (by the Jharkhand High Court). What is the danger if I am released on bail?” asked Sibal.
“There is no danger, except that you are convicted,” responded Chief Justice Gogoi, following which the court dismissed the case.
Previously, Yadav’s bail plea was rejected by the Jharkhand High Court in January following which he had moved the Supreme Court.
Following the top court’s order, the veteran RJD leader and former Bihar chief minister who is lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi, will not be available for poll campaigns for his party and its allies in the ensuing general elections.
The CBI on Wednesday had opposed in the Apex Court the bail plea of Yadav, stressing that it would set a wrong precedent.
The 71-year-old RJD leader had cited old age and poor health condition for grant of bail, claiming that he was suffering from diabetes, blood pressure and other ailments. Currently, he is undergoing treatment at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi.