RANCHI: With the appointment of the new director of RIMS (Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences) in Ranchi, jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad is likely to be shifted to another place once again.
Lalu Yadav is currently lodged in the director's bungalow in the wake of increasing Covid-19 cases in Jharkhand, which actually has come down significantly in the last few weeks.
Ironically, the jailed RJD chief is enjoying the perks of living in the director’s bungalow, while the newly-appointed director Dr. Kameshwar Prasad is staying in the state guest house.
The RJD chief, who is currently admitted to RIMS for over 2 years, has become the ‘longest admitted patient at RIMS. Initially, after being convicted by a special CBI Court in Ranchi on December 23, 2017, in the second fodder scam case involving the illegal withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar treasury, the 72-year-old RJD chief was lodged in Birsa Munda Central jail in Ranchi but was shifted to RIMS on August 29, 2018, looking at his deteriorating health conditions.
Following this, he was admitted to the super-specialty wing and finally was shifted to the RIMS director’s bungalow on August 5 this year. The opposition parties had alleged that the director’s bungalow has been converted into RJD headquarters from where he is influencing elections in Bihar.
The RJD chief is said to be a chronic patient of hypertension, diabetes, heart, kidney, and several other ailments, and hence, was shifted to the director’s bungalow to keep him away from the patients suffering from Covid-19.
Even after two years, the doctors treating Lalu Yadav claim that his health condition is still not good and a rise in creatinine and fluctuating blood-sugar level was recorded in the last one and a half months.
“If his health conditions are to be asked, I can say that his condition is worse than before,” said Dr. Umesh Prasad under whose supervision Lalu Yadav is being treated in RIMS. But on the issue of shifting him back to the paying ward or jail, Dr. Prasad said that it is up to the RIMS director to decide after discussion with jail authorities and police.
The newly appointed RIMS director Dr. Kameshwar Prasad, however, said that he is trying to understand things and would take appropriate action very soon. “I don’t know under what circumstances he has been lodged there. When the situation changes or it becomes favourable, I am sure the bungalow would be vacated immediately,” said the RIMS director.
The Opposition parties have also been repeatedly demanding that Lalu must be shifted to Birasa Munda Central jail.
“The way the state government has bowed down before Lalu Yadav and providing VIP treatment even after his conviction, somehow it gives a boost to the morale of those, on the behest of whom, Lalu Yadav is been violating the jail manual repeatedly,” said state BJP spokesperson Pradeep Sinha. In spite of taking cognizance on the issue, the state government is strongly backing him, he added.
Sinha called it unfortunate that the director has been forced to stay in a guest house, while Lalu Yadav, who is convicted in fodder scam cases, has been lodged in the director’s official bungalow. The state government must take action and the jailed RJD chief should immediately be sent back to Birsa Munda Central jail, he added.
Legal experts termed it a mockery of the law and said that despite three different instances where the Jharkhand High Court has ordered against a prolonged stay in RIMS, the jailed RJD chief is living a lavish lifestyle at the director’s bungalow.
“Lalu Yadav has shamelessly been lodged in director’s bungalow despite the fact that three judicial orders have been passed by Jharkhand High Court earlier in this regard,” said senior advocate in Jharkhand High Court Rajiv Kumar.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL), demanding to shift RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav back to Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi, is still pending in the Jharkhand High Court.