Other States

Lalu Prasad appears before CBI court in fodder scam case

File photo of RJD Chief Lalu Prasad   | Photo Credit: Ranjeet Kumar

Imprisoned Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday appeared before a special CBI court in Ranchi to record his statement in connection with a fodder scam case related to fraudulent withdrawal of ₹139 crore from Doranda treasury in undivided Bihar during 1990-96.

Mr. Prasad, who is currently undergoing treatment at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), came out from the paying ward of the hospital amid tight security, and went to appear before the court of CBI special judge S.K. Sashi.

Party MLA and close aide Bhola Yadav helped Mr. Prasad on his way to the court. Mr. Prasad, said sources, has to record his statement in response to three dozen questions.

The ₹950-crore fodder scam is related to fraudulent withdrawal of public fund meant for cattle fodder from different government treasuries in undivided Bihar during the 1990s. Probing the scam, the CBI had registered as many as 53 separate cases in it.

Mr. Prasad is convicted in four fodder scam cases and is serving jail sentences of different periods. He is lodged in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda jail since December 23, 2017. However, after spending over two months in jail he was shifted to RIMS in March 2018 when he developed some health complications.

“Mr. Prasad is suffering from as many 15 diseases but his uncontrolled diabetes with dependence on insulin and chronic kidney problem has been major concerns,” said senior doctor of RIMS, D.K. Jha.

Mr. Prasad got bail last year in one of these cases on the ground that he has already served half of the 3.5 years imprisonment awarded to him.

The fodder scam case involving fraudulent withdrawal of ₹139 crore from Doranda treasury in Ranchi involves 180 accused persons and has the highest number of prosecution witnesses of 585. Of the 180 accused, 67 died during trial and currently 113, including Mr. Prasad, are facing trial.

“Barring two-three, statement of almost all 113 accused persons facing trial in the case has been recorded under section 313 of the code of criminal procedure and the case will now be concluded in next two-three months”, Prabhat Kumar, Mr. Prasad’s lawyer, told journalists in Ranchi.

Recently, BJP had lost the Assemnly poll in Jharkhand and the grand alliance which includes RJD, came to power with Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren as Chief Minister.

Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi charged that Mr. Prasad has been “meeting” more people than allowed inside his hospital ward and urged the CBI to look into the matter.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 9:34:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/lalu-prasad-appears-before-cbi-court-in-fodder-scam-case/article30574705.ece

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