Former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday appeared before a special CBI court in Ranchi in connection with the fodder scam, news agency ANI reported. On June 9, Lalu, along with former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra had appeared before CBI judge Dev Raj Tripathi, along with some other accused. Their appearance was in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 40 lakh from the Bhagalpur treasury in 1996.
The multi-crore scam, which had surfaced mid-way through the 1990s during Lalu’s term as CM, saw misappropriation of a sizeable chunk of money from the Bihar government treasury. Some reports have approximated the scam to the tune of around Rs 1,000 crore. The total number of persons accused in the scam is 45, some of whom expired while the trial was underway. As of now, 27 persons face trial. The case has a staggering number of witnesses. Out of the total of 267, 34 have submitted their statements to the court.
On May 9, the Supreme Court had said that Lalu will have to undergo trial in cases of the fodder scam, which are four in total. The SC’s order had quashed a previous ruling by the Jharkhand High Court which had let go of conspiracy charges against the RJD chief.
The apex court had also lambasted the High court for being inconsistent with the case, and CBI for being slow in appealing against the Jharkhand High Court’s ruling. CBI’s director had also came under fire from the top court for not being alert in the matter.