On November 23, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav appeared before Patna’s special CBI court in connection with the 1996 fodder scam. The court fixed November 30 as the next date of hearing.

Two days prior to this hearing, several Twitter users (@dhongiPaap, @Satyend11371050, @sdtiwari, @Anandkumar_IND) posted an image of bed-ridden Yadav along with the insinuation that Yadav faked falling ill to skip the hearing.

Several Facebook (FB) users also posted this image with a similar claim – निर्विकार सिंह, Bharat News National and अनमोल विचार.

दो दिन पहले जीप चलाकर घूमने वाले इंसान की जब 30 नवम्बर को पेशी हो तो..

Posted by अनमोल विचार on Saturday, 27 November 2021

One Sharad Tiwari posted this image on FB group ‘भाजपा का परिवार मेरा परिवार(यूपी मिशन 2022- भाजपा समर्थको का स्वागत है)’ with over 4.5 lakh followers. Similarly, FB user Kundan Thakur posted this image on the group ‘योगी समर्थकों का मंच’ with over 20,000 followers.

Image from 2018

Alt News performed a reverse image search and found that the image dates back to 2018.

Graphic made by Alt News based on screenshots from OneIndia report from September 22, 2018.

On November 26 it was reported that Yadav was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) in Delhi after he complained of drowsiness and high fever. A local reporter told Alt News that Yadav was indeed unable to attend the hearing on November 30.

However, it’s crucial to note that on November 23 The Hindustan Times (HT) reported that the CBI court exempted Yadav from personal appearance in the next hearing.

Sudhir Sinha, Yadav’s counsel, pleaded for a reprieve from physical appearances, citing his client’s ailing health. “The special judge granted him the reprieve, saying that his counsel could represent him from the next hearing fixed on November 30. On the next date, the court will examine over 200 witnesses,” Sinha told HT. He added that on November 23 the RJD chief was the only one to physically appear before the court while 21 others appeared through their lawyers.

A 2018 image of bedridden RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was circulated on social media. The posts claimed that Yadav missed the hearing in the fodder scam case citing poor health. While it is indeed true that on November 26 Yadav was hospitalised, it is worth noting that prior to being hospitalised Yadav was exempted from personal appearance for the next hearing.

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🙏 Blessed to have worked as a fact-checking journalist from November 2019 to February 2023.