As Coronavirus cases in Jharkhand and Bihar are increasing, the Jharkhand government is seeking legal advice about releasing jailed RJD chief and former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Prasad on parole. The RJD chief is now admitted to a government hospital where all COVID-19 cases of Ranchi are under treatment. A total of 10 coronavirus patients are now in the isolation ward of the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS). One person died of the disease in the hospital on Sunday.
"We have sought legal advice from the advocate general as we are concerned about his health," Chief Minister Hemant Soren said when asked whether his government was considering releasing the RJD supremo on parole. The RJD is an ally of the Soren-led government.
The former CM is serving a 14-year jail term since December 2017 after being convicted in fodder scam cases. He is under treatment at the RIMS. The RJD supremo has been convicted in four fodder scam cases pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of money from Deoghar, Dumka and two cases pertaining to Chaibasa treasury. He is facing a fifth fodder scam case in a special CBI court in Ranchi pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of money from Doranda treasury.
However, earlier on April 08, following the directive of the Supreme Court to release on prisoners on parole or provide interim bail amid Covid-19, Jharkhand IG Shashi Ranjan had said that Lalu Yadav is not eligible as per the terms and conditions given by the top court.
"We held a meeting of the high-level committee to release the prisoners on parole. But those who are convicted for economic or serious offences and sentenced to over 7 years of jail cannot be released on parole."
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday ordered release of an additional Rs 50 crore from the Chief Ministers Relief Fund for providing assistance to natives stranded in other states due to the nationwide lockdown prompted by coronavirus. Reaching out to the people who could make to homes due to curbs imposed across the country on March 24 last to break the chain of virus transmission, the Bihar government has been supporting the needy by transferring special assistance of Rs 1000 each in their bank accounts and also running relief centres in different parts of the country where people are given shelter, food and ration.
Earlier on March 26, the chief minister had released a sum of Rs 100 crore from the chief minister's relief fund for catering to the needs of the distressed migrants hold up outside.
According to the state health department, there are 64 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bihar, 26 have recovered while one patient has died. The recovered patients include six from Munger and five from Patna, leaving the two districts with zero active cases as of now. All cases from Munger were traced to the sole deceased patient of the state who passed away on March 21, suffering from renal failure, a day before test results showed he was also COVID-19 positive. Three hospitals in the state, one each at Patna, Bhagalpur and Gaya, have been dedicated to the treatment of coronavirus patients.
In Jharkhand, with 2 new coronavirus cases, the state tally reached 19. Among the total people infected as on date, 0 have recovered and 2 have passed away.
(with PTi inputs)