Fodder Scam Case: SC defers hearing of CBI’s plea against Lalu Prasad Yadav’s bail till January 2024

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On October 17, 2023, the Supreme Court of India deferred the hearing, till January 2024, on an appeal filed by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) against the bail granted to the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam case. The matter was heard by a two-judge bench of Justice MM Sundresh and Justice AS Bopanna. The bail was granted by the Jharkhand High Court in April 2022 to Lalu Prasad Yadav. While adjourning the matter, the bench said, “Even if we answer in your favor, it will be difficult to put him back in prison.” 

Earlier, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju argued that “These orders are bad in toto. There’s a short question of law: bail has been granted on an erroneous assumption considering that sentences are concurrent and not consecutive.” In the October 17 hearing, the ASG repeated the same. Further, during the proceedings, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for Yadav reiterated his objections to the appeal filed by CBI stating, “Because [the CBI] came up in Lalu’s case and realized that they were appealing only in his, they said we’ll file an appeal in every other case. So that discrimination is…And after 14 or so months. They want to keep him inside so that in 2024 he can’t be out…Please keep the question of law open.” After hearing the arguments, the bench deferred the case till January 2024.