Ranchi CBI Court Convicts RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav In Fodder Scam

Ranchi CBI Court Convicts RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav In Fodder Scam

Former Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad was on Saturday pronounced guilty in one of the cases emanating out of the infamous multi-million Fodder scam by a Special CBI court in Ranchi.

Special CBI Judge Shivpal Singh found the Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders and others guilty of siphoning off about Rs 89 lakh from the Deogarh treasury on the pretext of buying livestock feed and showed unholy nexus between politicians, bureaucrats and feed suppliers.

The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on January 3, 2018.

Another former Chief Minister of Bihar, Jagannath Mishra has been given a clean chit by the court.

The verdict comes in three of the 64 cases emanating out of the fodder scam involving siphoning off Rs 900 crores from State’s animal husbandry department in the early 90s.

The scam came to light in year 1996 and cost Lalu his Lok Sabha seat and earned him disqualification from contesting elections.

The case decided on Saturday pertains to embezzling of more than Rs. 89 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994 when the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Yadav was the Chief Minister and Finance Minister.

It involved politicians and bureaucrats siphoning of several crores of rupees on the pretext of purchasing livestock feed over a period of 20 years.

The trial in the the cases gained momentum after the Supreme Court early this year directed that the same be concluded within nine months.

Besides Lalu and Mishra, 19 others are also accused in the case. Of the 34 people initially accused, 11 died during the course of trial, while one turned approver.

In October 2013 when Lalu Yadav was first convicted in a related fodder scam case, he had to spend two months in jail before he got bail from the Supreme Court.

Minutes before the verdict was pronounced, Lalu’s son took to Twitter to say, “We trust the judiciary & hope the verdict will be in our favour”.

While the fodder scam came to light in 1990s when a raid at the animal husbandry departmet at Chiabasa revealed documents showing illegal withdrawals and illegal association between government servants and fodder suppliers.

After commissions of inquiry, the Patna High Court ordered CBI to takeover the probe following a Public Interest Litigation by BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.

A chargesheet was filed in year 1997 and both Lalu and Mishra were named in it.

Lalu resigned from Chief Ministership but later went on to serve as the Railway Minister between 2004 and 2009.

In 2013, Lalu and Mishra were convicted in the Chaibasa Treasury case, the first among the 53 cases.

Here is a brief timeline of the cases.

1996: scam comes to light after a raid at Chaibasa animal husbandry department reveals documents showing illegal withdrawals etc.

March, 1996: Patna HC orders CBI probe

FIR registered in Chaibasa treasury case

June, 1997: Chargseet filed. 63 cases registered for offences of forgery, criminal conspiracy under IPC and also under Prevention of Corruption Act

April, 2000: Charges framed

Oct, 2001: SC transfers fodder scam cases to Jharkhand

2002: trial begins at Ranchi

June 2007: Chaibasa treasury case decided. Lalu, Mishra and 56 others guilty In this case involving fraud of Rs 48 crore.

Sept, 2013: Lalu,  Mishra and others held guilty in another scam case relating to fraud of Rs 47 crore from Banka and Baghalpur district treasuries.

Nov 2014: The CBI challenges the order of the Jharkhand High Court quashing four pending fodder scam cases against Lalu

May 2017: The Supreme Court says Lalu and other accused persons, including Mishra be tried separately for corruption in a criminal case involving the withdrawal of Rs. 84.53 lakh and falsification of records from the Deoghar Treasury in 1991-94

Dec 13, 2017: special CBI court at Rachi concludes trial

Dec 23, 2017: Lalu held guilty. Mishra acquitted