A special CBI court has convicted former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad in the ₹139.35 crore Doranda treasury embezzlement case on Tuesday. Prasad has already been convicted in four other cases of the fodder scam. This is the fifth and final case.
The RJD supremo arrived in Ranchi on Sunday to be physically present in the court during the hearing.
The court on January 29 had completed hearing arguments in the Rs 139.35 crore Doranda treasury embezzlement case involving Prasad and had reserved its verdict.
The court of Special CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) Judge S K Shashi had completed the hearing against 99 accused including Prasad, which was underway since February last year. Arguments on behalf of the last accused, Dr Shailendra Kumar, were completed on January 29.
Of the original 170 accused in the case, 55 have died, seven have become government witnesses, two have accepted the charges against them and six are absconding.
Apart from Prasad, former MP Jagdish Sharma, the then Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Dhruv Bhagat, Animal Husbandry Secretary Beck Julius and Animal Husbandry Assistant Director Dr K M Prasad are the main accused.
The ₹950-crore fodder scam relates to fraudulent withdrawal of public funds from government treasuries in various districts of undivided Bihar.
The RJD supremo, who has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and slapped with a total fine of ₹60 lakh, has secured bail in the four cases related to Dumka, Deoghar and Chaibasa treasuries.
The fodder scam came to light in January 1996 after a raid at the Animal Husbandry Department. The CBI named Prasad as an accused in June 1997. The agency framed charges against Prasad and former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra.
In September 2013, the trial court convicted Prasad, Mishra and 45 others in one of the cases related to the fodder scam and Prasad was imprisoned in Ranchi jail.
In December 2013, Supreme Court granted bail to Prasad in the case while in December 2017, CBI court found him and 15 others guilty and sent them to Birsa Munda prison.
Jharkhand High Court granted bail to Prasad in April 2021.