Punishment, at last

    Corruption got a jolt with RJD chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad being sentenced to five years in jail and fined Rs 25 lakh in a fodder case – RC 20 A/96 – by a special CBI court on October 3 in Ranchi. With the sentencing Lalu has also been disqualified from Parliament and has lost his Lok Sabha seat. Another former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra has been sentenced to four years in jail and fined Rs 5 lakh in the same case. Janata Dal United MP Jagdish Sharma, another accused, has also got a four-year jail term and he also loses his Lok Sabha seat. In all, there are 44 persons, besides Lalu who have been found guilty. The case went on for more than 17 years. On Monday, September 30th, special CBI judge Pravas Kumar K Singh held Lalu and 44 others guilty in the fodder scam case. Lalu has been convicted of corruption, criminal conspiracy and cheating. The other politicians who have been convicted and jailed are former Legislators RK Rana, Dhruv Bhagat and Vidya Sagar Nishad. The sentencing also renders Lalu ineligible for contesting elections for 11 years. One hopes, the punishment to politicians and bureaucrats in the fodder scam case will send the right signal to all and will prove to be a deterrent to corrupt practices. India needs more such convictions to instill fear in the mind of people in public service who have made corruption a sacred way of their lives.

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