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Opinion

Jharkhand HC arrests government for transferring jailed Lalu Prasad to bungalow

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On Friday, the Jharkhand high court detained the state government for transferring RJD chief Lalu Prasad from the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) pay ward to the hospital director’s bungalow and then back to the ward without having a standard operating procedure (SOP). ).

Prasad, who served time in prison after being convicted in different forage scam cases, has been in treatment for more than two years at RIMS. He was transferred to the director’s bungalow in August last year, allegedly due to the spread of covid-19. Prasad returned to the hospital ward after two months in October.

Prasad was alleged to have violated the provisions of the prison manual to take advantage of facilities that were not available to any inmate.

Hearing the matter on Friday, the Aparesh Kumar Singh court of law observed: “The government works according to the law and not according to individual wishes.”

The bank said RIMS management was unable to clarify what other options they had considered before deciding to move Prasad to the hospital director’s bungalow.

“Why have you selected only this bungalow? They should have considered other options as well. Any such decision should have been taken in accordance with the law, ”the bank said.

Previously, the court asked under what provisions these “additional” facilities were provided to Prasad. He also asked the government to clarify under what provision Prasad, a prisoner, had helpers when he was in jail. What are the rules and how are these helpers selected and appointed? The court asked.

The prison’s inspector general (IG) submitted a response saying that the hospital administration had transferred Prasad to the bungalow to protect him from Covid-19 infection. The jail manual does not clarify what different facilities should be available to a prisoner who is being treated in custody outside the jail, according to the IG report.

“Nor does it say anything about whether prisoners who are so sick should seek helpers. There is also no SOP (standard operating procedure) for this. The government is in the process of introducing changes to the prison manual and also preparing SOPs, ”said the IG in its report.

With this in mind, the court adjourned the matter by asking the government to provide a copy of the SOP before January 22, the next hearing date.

Also read: Man arrested for threatening former deputy CM of Jharkhand Sudesh Mahato

Prasad had suffered a major shock in the forage scam case on September 30, 2013, when a trial court in Ranchi found him guilty in the first of six cases against him. The sentence earned him five years in prison, the disqualification of Parliament and the prohibition to participate in the elections. The Supreme Court released him on bail in December of that year.

His troubles were renewed in 2017-18, when he was found guilty and sentenced to different prison terms in three separate forage scam cases in quick succession. He has obtained bail in two of them and his application for bail in the third and the last case is under consideration by the higher court.

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