SC rejects Laloo's plea in fodder scam case

New Delhi Aug. 26. The Supreme Court today dismissed special leave petitions filed by the former Bihar Chief Ministers, Laloo Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra, seeking a composite trial by consolidation of the fodder scam cases against them pending in various courts in Jharkhand.

A three-Judge Bench, comprising Justice S.N. Variava, Justice P. Venkatara Reddi and Justice Ashok Bhan, observed: "We see no merit in the petitions and they are dismissed".

A similar petition filed by a businessman, Trupurari Mohan Prasad, was also rejected by the Bench.

Mr. Yadav and Mr. Mishra had challenged a Jharkhand High Court order refusing to consolidate the trial of five fodder scam cases against them pending before Special Judges at Ranchi. They contended that the separate trial of the fodder scam cases would cause hardship and harassment to them.

They said that though facts of the cases were similar and evidence that would be led by the prosecution would be the same, they had to go through the same procedure time and again.

Referring to this contention, the Bench said that once evidence was completed in one case, the petitioners were free to file applications before other Special Judges requesting them to treat evidence led in that case as evidence in other cases.

"If such a request was made before the Special Judge, we see no reason why the same should not be entertained," the Bench added.

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