Lalu was convicted in one fodder scam case in 2013. This second case relates to the withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from Deoghar, now in Jharkhand.
New Delhi: A special CBI court in Ranchi is set to give its verdict Saturday in the second of the five fodder scam cases, in which RJD leader and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav is one of the accused.
The case relates to the alleged withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar treasury between 1994 and 1996, when Lalu was Bihar CM. Deoghar is now in Jharkhand.
A total amount of Rs 900 crore was allegedly withdrawn from the treasuries of different districts in the five fodder scam cases. The amounts were withdrawn allegedly by producing fake letters of allotment for fodder supplies with inflated prices by the animal husbandry department of the then-Bihar government.
There were 34 accused in the case, of whom 11 have died and one has turned CBI approver. Besides Lalu, the other prominent names in the list of accused include former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra, former animal husbandry minister Vidya Sagar Nishad, former MPs Jagdish Sharma and R.K. Rana, and former BJP legislator Dhruv Bhagat, besides some bureaucrats.
Details of the scam
The fodder scam was unearthed in January 1996 after a raid on the office of the animal husbandry department in Patna. In March 1996, the Patna High Court ordered a CBI probe into the case, and in June, the CBI filed a charge sheet naming Lalu and others as co-conspirators in siphoning Rs 900 crore of public money using fake bills.
In October 2013, the CBI court sentenced Lalu to five years in prison and imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh. The verdict was in a case of withdrawal of over Rs 37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in 1994-95, on the basis of 78 fake allotment letters. Chaibasa is now in Jharkhand.
Lalu had to spend two months in jail before he was released on bail by the Supreme Court in December 2013.
However, the conviction led to his disqualification as a Member of Parliament, and he was barred from contesting elections for 11 years.
Lalu got temporary relief when the Jharkhand High Court stayed the trial against him in separate cases in 2014. The court said that a person convicted in one case for an offence cannot be tried separately in similar cases based on the same evidence and witnesses.
In May this year, the Supreme Court, on the CBI’s appeal, quashed the high court order, and ordered Lalu to face trail in all the remaining four fodder scam cases separately. The apex court also ordered the CBI to conclude the trial within nine months.
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