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4yr RI for JD(U) leader

Ranchi, Jan. 24: A special CBI court (animal husbandry) today awarded four years of rigorous imprisonment (RI) and a fine of Rs 4 lakh to disqualified JD(U) MP Jagdish Sharma in a fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 1.16crore from Godda treasury during 1990-96.

Also, CBI Judge Sitaram Prasad pronounced quantum of punishments for 11 others, who, along with Sharma, were convicted in the RC36A/96 case on Wednesday. Prasad gave his verdict through video conferencing from an e-court room at Kutchery Chowk, while the convicts took part in the proceedings from Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi.

The others include then budget and account officer Brajbhushan Prasad, travelling veterinary officers Dr Shashi Kumar Sinha and Dr Ajeet Sinha, scrutiny clerk Bhanukar Dubey, and suppliers Mahendra Prasad, Jyoti Kumar Jha, Umesh Dubey, B.P. Sinha, Amit Kumar, Suvasish Dev and Chandrasekhar Dubey.

Prosecution lawyer Shiv Kumar Kaka said they received jail terms ranging from four to five years and fine of Rs 2-18 lakh.

On Wednesday, the court awarded three years of RI and fines ranging from Rs 2.2 lakh to Rs 3.2 lakh to seven others, all of whom were granted interim bail.

Sharma, who was disqualified from Lok Sabha after his conviction in a fodder case (RC20A/96) along with former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad in September last year, has been charged with receiving bribes, criminal breach of trust by a public servant, forgery, cheating and concealment of evidence.