The Jharkhand High Court on Friday directed the CBI judge hearing fodder scam to give report on his orders passed during the three previous proceedings in a case (RC 64A/96) related to illegal withdrawal from Deoghar treasury in Jharkhand.
Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh passed the order while hearing a transfer petition filed on behalf of RJD supremo and former chief minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad in this regard.
In the petition, Lalu lawyers said his client has reasonable apprehension that justice will not be done under CBI special judge Shiv Pal Singh and requested the court transfer the case to another judge in Ranchi.
During the argument held in the high court on Friday, Lalu’s lawyers alleged that the CBI judge, on Aug. 3, had stopped a deposition by Bihar Director General of Police Sunil Kumar mid-way and tore up the deposition sheet. Kumar was appearing as defense witness in the case. The lawyers said the judge’s conduct was not according to law and they could not expect justice from him.
The CBI lawyers, in reply to the petition, neither admitted nor denied the allegations, saying it was a matter of record.
During the argument, the CBI said the transfer petition was merely a ploy to delay the case. Lawyers from the petitioner’s side denied the allegations, saying they tried to get the deposition of witnesses sooner than later.
The judge issued notice to the CBI judge to give reply on the orders he passed on Jul. 30, Aug. 3 and Aug. 10 in the case. It may be mentioned that first examination of DG as defense witness was to be held on July 29, but the Bihar government fell on that day. The DG sent a letter to the court for a fresh date as he could leave the state in the prevailing circumstances. The judge fixed Aug. 10 for the recording of his statements.
However on Aug. 3, the defense side petitioned for recording the DG’s statement as he was in the city to appear in another case related to fodder scam. The judge started the recording but stopped it mid-way saying the deposition would be on Aug. 10. The judge had also stopped payment of DG salary for a day in an order passed on Jul. 29. On Aug.10, the judge recorded the DG’s statement as court witness after the defense side, which had filed a transfer petition, refused to examine the witness.
Senior lawyers Surindra Singh and Chitranjan Sinha and Prabhat Kumar appeared for Lalu’s side in the case. The final argument in the case would be held on Aug. 25.