Let court decide, SG tells CBI on Lalu plea for dropping charges
In A setback to the effort by the CBI director to get some key fodder scam charges against RJD chief Lalu Prasad dropped, Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran has said that only the trial court is empowered to deal with the question of granting relief to the former Bihar CM.
Lalu has petitioned the special court to set aside proceedings against him in some fodder scam cases on the ground he has already been prosecuted for the same charges in a different FIR. While CBI director Ranjit Sinha favours dropping the charges, the agency’s director of prosecution O P Verma does not agree.
The issue was sent to Attorney General G E Vahanvati for his opinion and was forwarded to Parasaran as Vahanvati is out of country.
“It is not advisable for law officers to dwell into that jurisdiction which courts alone are appropriately empowered with. As any opinion rendered will have an impact on the pending prosecution and when the application is for the very same relief which is the subject matter of pending matter in the trial court, in my view, it is advisable that this issue is taken up by the concerned trial court and decided,” Parasaran has said in his opinion.
The opinion is a setback for Lalu too as the CBI court has already turned down a similar plea by another key fodder scam accused — former RJD MP R K Rana.
Legal experts said that in the light of the order in Rana’s case, there is little possibility of the same court giving ruling in favour of Lalu.
The cases in which Lalu wants relief relate to illegal withdrawal of money from government treasuries on the basis of fake supply orders.
In his opinion, Parasaran cited Supreme Court judgments to say that since the matter is pending before the court, “it would not be appropriate for a counsel or a prosecutor to offer any opinion”.
“In my view, this matter requires to be only decided before a judicial forum where all the views can be thrashed out and the court can give its judgment after analyzing all aspects in the matter. It is not advisable for law officers to dwell into that jurisdiction which courts alone are appropriately empowered with.”