PATNA: Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad, who is serving a seven-year sentence in a Ranchi jail in connection with the fodder scam, may soon be released on parole amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis in the country.
The Supreme Court had, on March 24, directed all States and Union Territories to set up high-level panels to consider releasing those convicts on parole, who have been jailed for up to seven years, in a bid to decongest the jails to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Several inmates are being released from jails across the country in order to maintain social distancing inside the premises to prevent the spread of the highly communicable virus.
A source close to the family said that Lalu Prasad is suffering from several chronic diseases, and therefore, is more susceptible to catching coronavirus.
In such a situation, his family may urge the state government to consider releasing him, the source said.
Lalu is currently undergoing medical treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Jharkhand’s Ranchi.
According to sources, the Jharkhand government has sought advice from the advocate general on the release of Lalu.
“Supreme Court has recently issued an order pertaining to releasing convicts to avoid the spread of coronavirus. Lalu Yadav, who is serving his sentence in a case in Ranchi, is an elderly man and has a medical complication,” Congress leader Premchand Mishra, told ANI.
“If anyone is released amid this situation, surely the government should also consider releasing Lalu Yadav on parole,” Mishra added.
Yadav, who has been in prison since December 2017, was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment in 2018 under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and seven years under the Prevention of Corruption Act in the fodder scam case. Notably, both the sentences are being served consecutively.