Indian government ally jailed 5 years for long-running scam


NEW DELHI, Oct 3 (Reuters) - An Indian court sentenced apowerful ally of the ruling Congress party to five years in jailon Thursday for siphoning off state funds, underlining thatpublic disgust with corruption is finally catching up with thenation's politicians.

Arvind Singh, joint secretary of the bar association in theeastern city of Ranchi who was in the court, told Reuters thatLalu Prasad Yadav would serve five years of "rigorous"imprisonment and was fined 2.5 million rupees ($40,000).

The sentence means that Yadav will lose his seat in thelower house of parliament, making him the first lawmaker to behit by a Supreme Court ruling that convicts may not sit inlegislatures even during an appeal.

Yadav, a former railways minister, was convicted along withdozens of others earlier this week for his part in a 1990sanimal fodder racket in the poverty-plagued eastern state ofBihar in which millions of dollars went missing.

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