BJP Leader Files PIL in Jharkhand High Court, Seeking Probe in Lalu Jail Facilities

JHARKHAND: Following the PIL filed by the local BJP leader, who has asked Jharkhand High Court for a probe into facilities being allegedly offered to Lalu Prasad in judicial custody. This happened a day after the RJD chief audio got out, trying to influence the Speaker’s election in Bihar. 

In his PIL, Anuranjan Ashok Singh, former BJP Kisan Morcha vice-president, alleged that Lalu is a jailed convict, he had disobeyed the prison manual to use a mobile for the purpose of attempting to oust a democratically elected government.

The PIL has cited high court rulings in connection with the grant of facilities to political prisoners at RIMS in violation of the jail manual.

Jharkhand IG (prison) Virendra Bhusan on Wednesday constituted a committee comprising Ranchi deputy commissioner Chavi Ranjan, Ranchi senior superintendent of police Surendra Jha and Birsa Munda Central Jail superintendent Hamid Akhtar to probe the allegation that Lalu had used mobile.

While the state government has ordered a probe into the allegation that Lalu had called up Bihar BJP MLA Lalan Paswan asking him to abstain from voting during the Speaker’s election. An audio clip of the purported phone conversation has been widely shared. 

The jail manual does not allow the use of phones by those in judicial custody. If the charge is proved, the accused can be sent back to jail. Lalu was on Thursday moved back to the RIMS paying ward from the director’s bungalow, known as Kelly’s Bungalow.

Lalu, who had been incarcerated in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Central Jail in December 2017, was shifted to the hospital in 2018. He had been moved to Kelly’s Bungalow in August this year after some guards at the paying ward had tested positive for the coronavirus.

In Patna, Paswan filed an FIR against Lalu accusing him of trying to lure him to abstain from voting and suggesting that he falsely claim that he had Covid-19. Singh’s PIL has also alleged that Lalu is receiving other facilities such as the services of an attendant, who the BJP leader feared could have given the former chief minister access to the mobile.