Lalu Prasad Yadav, the former chief minister of Bihar, has been granted bail by the country’s Supreme Court in connection with one of the cases in what is known as the fodder scam.
The fodder scam, in all, is reportedly worth an estimated Rs 940 crore ($300 million). It involved fraud withdrawals from government funds using fabricated invoices for buying fictitious fodder, medicines and animal husbandry equipment for livestock that did not exist.
The bail on Friday was in one of the several fodder scam cases related to money worth Rs 37.7 crore ($6 million) withdrawn from the government treasury in the state’s Chaibasa town.
Yadav along with another former Bihar state chief minister Jagannath Mishra and 43 others were jailed on September 30 in this case by a court of the Central Bureau of Investigation which heard the case.
The fraud happened when Yadav, as leader of the regional Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) was in power in Bihar. It was unearthed in 1996 forcing him to resign from the state’s top post.
Yadav was also disqualified as member of the lower house of parliament and barred from contesting elections for six years.
Senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Yadav, argued that he had already spent over the years 12 months in jail including the latest two-month stint of the total five years he was sentenced to.
Yadav’s involvement in the fodder scam proved a severe setback to his rising political fortunes. At the height of his career many considered him a potential prime ministerial candidate of the opposition Third Front.