Lalu lawyer seeks minimum sentence

Ranchi, Oct 3 (IANS) Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad's lawyer Thursday pleaded for a lighter sentence as he ended arguments in a special CBI court here Thursday in the fodder scam.

The lawyer said in the court of Pravas Kumar Singh that the RJD leader should get minimum punishment as he was "a respectable person" and held a "high position in society".

Lalu Prasad, the lawyer added, also suffered from many diseases, was 67 years old and was otherwise a law abiding citizen.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, however, sought maximum punishment to show that people holding high positions cannot get away with corruption.

The sentencing is likely to be delivered after 2 p.m. Thursday.

According to legal experts, Lalu Prasad could get a jail term of four to seven years.

Lalu Prasad, former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and 43 others have been convicted on charges of fradulently withdrawing Rs.37.70 crore from the Chaibasa district treasury.

After the division of Bihar, the district is now in Jharkhand.

The CBI court Sep 30 convicted all 45 in the fodder scam. Eight accused were sentenced to three years in prison and slapped with fines up to Rs.50 lakh.

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