RANCHI, Oct 3 (AGENCIES): A special court here sentenced Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav to five years of rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs 25 lakh in the 17-year-old fodder scam case in which he was convicted earlier this week.
Following the sentencing, by Special CBI judge Pravas Kumar Singh, Lalu loses his seat and will not be eligible to contest elections for 11 years.
On July 10, the Supreme Court had ruled that convicts may not sit in legislatures even during an appeal, or stand for re-election for six years.
The court also sentenced Jagannath Mishra, another former chief minister of Bihar, to four years.
None of the convicts was present in the court and the sentencing was done through video conferencing. Lalu and the others are currently lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail here.
Earlier this week, on Monday, Lalu, 65, was convicted along with dozens of others for his part in the 1990s animal fodder racket, in which the government treasury handed out crores of rupees against bills for fictitious fodder for non-existent cattle.
Six other politicians and four IAS officers, among the convicted, were also sentenced to prison terms in the case.
Of the 45 convicts, the judge had delivered the sentence against eight of them on September 30 itself.
Earlier on Thursday, arguments on the quantum of sentence Prasad and 36 other convicts were completed in the special court here with CBI seeking maximum prison term of up to seven years for them.
Counsel for Lalu, Mishra, sitting Janata Dal (United) member f Parliament Jagdish Sharma, former legislator R K Rana and others had pleaded for lesser sentence.
Former Development Commissioner Phoolchand Singh, former Science and Technology Secretary Mahesh Prasad, former animal husbandry department secretary Beck Juleus, former Income Tax Commissioner Adhip Chandra Choudhary, former Class I officers Gouri Shankar Prasad, Brajnandan Sharma, K M Prasad (all three were with the Animal Husbandry Department) and other officials and suppliers were among those found guilty.
A sitting lawmaker from Jahanabad, Sharma also faces disqualification in the wake of the Supreme Court judgment.
RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha has said that the verdict would be challenged in a higher court.
The special court had earlier granted bail to eight of the convicts as they had been sentenced to three years imprisonment, a prison term that allows them to move for bail in the same court.