Ranchi, Oct. 17: Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad today moved Jharkhand High Court, challenging his conviction and sentencing in a fodder scam case.
The RJD leader, who is serving a five-year prison term at Ranchiís Birsa Munda Central Jail, has also pleaded for bail once the sentence handed over to him by CBI special judge P.K. Singh was suspended.
ďWe have filed a petition in the high court against the conviction, seeking bail, pleading stay on sentence and penalty (fine amount),Ē Laluís counsel Chitaranjan said.
Lalu was also fined Rs 25 lakh by the CBI court in the fodder scam case (RC20A/96) relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury when he was Biharís chief minister in the 1990s.
Laluís memo of appeal, running into 60 pages, along with the 568-page judgment, has been numbered ďcriminal appeal No. 594/13Ē. It is expected to be listed for hearing before the court of Justice R.R. Prasad tomorrow.
In his defence, Lalu claimed there was no direct evidence against him in fodder case RC20A/96.
He argued that the primary allegation against him was of criminal conspiracy with co-accused, which led to the defalcation of crores of public money.
But witness statements could not establish the conspiracy angle, Laluís memo of appeal said.
Lalu pleaded he had been implicated since he was chief minister of united Bihar and was the target of a conspiracy hatched by political rivals.
He said he could not be linked to co-accused Shyam Bihari Sinha and R.K. Rana simply because they were local guardians to his daughters while they were studying in Ranchiís Bishop Westcott Girls School.
The former Bihar chief minister also challenged the then Governorís sanction to prosecute him in the fodder scam, saying it had been granted in haste without the aid and advice of his council of ministers.
As many as 45 people, including another former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra and former MP R.K. Rana, besides bureaucrats and suppliers, were convicted in the fodder case by the special CBI judge in Ranchi on September 30.
Apart from Lalu, 26 others also filed appeals in the high court today.