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Legal trouble mounts for Lalu as Gwalior court issues arrest warrant against Lalu in 26-year-old Arms Act case

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav
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By Vishwapati

PATNA: A court in Gwalior has issued a permanent arrest warrant against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad Yadav in a 26-year-old Arms Act case, adding to the legal woes of the ailing leader ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Yadav, who was convicted and jailed in the fodder scam in Bihar, was released on bail in April 2021. He has also been chargesheeted in the jobs-for-land scam which allegedly took place during his tenure as railway minister from 2004 to 2009.

The arrest warrant was issued by an MP-MLA Court in Gwalior on Friday  in a case related to the alleged illegal purchase of arms and ammunition in 1995-97.

As per the records of Inderganj police of Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Lalu Yadav, who is also former Bihar chief minister, has been absconding in the case. In 1998, a Gwalior court declared him a fugitive.

The entire case revolves around the procurement and sale of weapons by an operator of a firm in Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh. According to the chargesheet, Rajkumar Sharma, the operator of a firm, indulged in fraudulent activities by purchasing weapons and cartridges in Gwalior and selling them in Bihar between 1995 and 1997. Lalu Prasad Yadav was also among those who allegedly bought these weapons in Bihar. A total of 22 accused were named in the case, out of which 14, including Lalu Yadav, are absconding, while proceedings are underway against six accused in court. Two of the accused have died.

Initially, there was confusion whether accused Lalu Prasad Yadav and the RJD chief were the same person as his father’s name in the the absconding panchnama was mentioned as Kundrika Singh. The name of RJD chief’s father is Kundan Rai. However, clarity emerged on the identity of the accused and the police believe he is the same Lalu Prasad Yadav, the former Bihar chief minister. For this reason, this case has been transferred to the MP-MLA court, which has issued a permanent arrest warrant against Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Meanwhile, reports of the arrest warrant have caused panic in the Lalu Prasad’s family in Patna. The RJD chief has been consulting several senior advocates in Patna regarding the matter. It is expected that he will soon appear in the Gwalior court through his legal representatives. The court will be informed about his ongoing medical treatment and his poor health condition. Additionally, a plea for bail will also be submitted.

  • Edited by Alok Mohit, former Senior News Editor of Hindustan Times Patna and Chandigarh editions 

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