RJD vice-president Shivanand Tiwary gets 1 year in jail in defamation case; granted bail

Patna: RJD national vice president Shivanand Tiwary was sentenced to one year in prison by a Patna court in a criminal defamation suit filed by Bihar minister Sanjay Kumar Jha five years ago.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Sarika Bahaliya on Tuesday also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Tiwari, a former state minister himself.

According to Jha’s counsel Madhukar Anand, “The court has also granted provisional bail to Shivanand Tiwary, and gave him 30 days to appeal against the order”.

Jha, who holds key portfolios like water resources and information and Public Relations in the Nitish Kumar government, had filed the petition way back in 2018 when he was a national general secretary of the JD(U).

Jha had moved the court against Tiwary, taking exception to comments the latter had made about his close relationship with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the JD(U)’s supreme leader.

Kumar has realigned with the RJD, which he had dumped in 2017, and hinted that he was now willing to pass on the mantle to his deputy Tejashwi Yadav, whose father Lalu Prasad heads the party.

Tiwary, a veteran socialist leader who has known both Prasad and Kumar for nearly five decades, has been a member of the parties floated by the two leaders at different points of time.