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Five-year jail term for Lalu in third fodder scam case

RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav   | Photo Credit: Manob Chowdhury

A special CBI court in Ranchi on Wednesday awarded five years in jail and a fine of ₹10 lakh to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a third fodder scam case.

Earlier, a total of 50 accused persons, including Mr. Prasad and former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra, were convicted in the case while, six others were acquitted.

The special CBI court of judge S.S. Prasad convicted Mr. Lalu Prasad, Mr. Jagannath Mishra and 48 others in the RC 68 (A) / 96 fodder scam case which pertained to the fraudulent withdrawal of ₹33.67 crore from Chaibasa (now in Jharkhand) district treasury during the period of 1992-93. Altogether 56 persons were facing trial in the case.

“Under different Sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, Lalu Prasad has been sentenced,” CBI counsel B.M.P. Singh told journalists in Ranchi.

14 died during trial

Out of the total 76 accused in this third case of fodder scam, 14 had died during the trial, three became approvers, two pleaded guilty while, one has been absconding.

Of the remaining 56 facing trial, 50, including Mr. Lalu Prasad and Mr. Jagannath Mishra, were convicted and sentenced to jail terms and fines.

Six of them were politicians, three former IAS officers, six Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) officials, one a treasury official and 40 were suppliers to the AHD.

Mr. Jagannath Mishra who, earlier, was acquitted in the second fodder scam case on December 23, 2016 along with five others, was not present in the court as his wife had passed away recently.

Refuses to talk to media

Before the quantum of sentence was pronounced, Mr. Lalu Prasad came out of the courtroom to have tea at the canteen on the court premises. He refused to speak to the media.

Mr. Prasad is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail of Ranchi after being convicted for 3.5 years in the RC 64(A)/96 fodder scam case on December 23, 2017.

The case pertained to the Deoghar treasury withdrawal in which the quantum of sentence was pronounced on January 6, 2018 by the CBI special judge Shiv Pal Singh. Mr. Prasad has appealed in the Ranchi High Court against his conviction in the case.

He was first convicted in a fodder scam case, RC 20(A)/96 on September 30, 2013 for five years and was barred from contesting elections for a period of six years. Later, he had got bail in the case.

Mr. Prasad has now been convicted in three fodder scam cases out of a total of six in which he has been facing trial.

In two other fodder scam cases related to illegal withdrawal of money from Dumka and Doranda district (both in Jharkhand) treasuries, verdicts are likely to be pronounced in the coming months.

Conspiracy: Tejaswi

Reacting to the third conviction in the fodder scam case, Mr. Lalu Prasad’s younger son and Leader of Opposition Tejaswi Yadav said, “Options are not closed for us as like in other cases, we’ll appeal in the higher courts.”

He accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP of “conspiring” against Mr. Prasad to keep him in jail.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 4:20:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/lalu-prasad-jagannath-mishra-convicted-in-third-fodder-scam-case/article22506233.ece

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