A special CBI court Thursday deferred pronouncement of judgment in a fodder scam case, in which former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra are accused along with 29 others.
The court took on record a petition filed by Lalu, seeking summoning of the then Accountant General, P K Mukhopadhyay, and two other junior officers as accused. Following a brief hearing, the court listed it for orders on Friday. It will subsequently pronounce the judgment.
The court had fixed March 15 as the date for the judgment in the fodder case pertaining to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of funds from Dumka treasury in 1990s by officials of the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD).
The court had already summoned six persons under Section 319 of the CrPC as accused and directed them to depose before it on March 28. It had directed the CBI to seek sanction for prosecution against Bihar chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, as he was the then Deputy Commissioner of Dumka district when the alleged offence occurred.
In his petition, Lalu argued that the Accountant General had not “whispered any fraudulent withdrawal in AHD from 1991-1996”. The petition —seeking summons against the then AG P K Mukhopadhyay, the then Senior Accountant General Pamod Kumar and the then Deputy AG B N Jha — further argued that, while a CBI DSP had raised the matter of investigation of the role of the AG’s office, the Investigating Officer had cancelled the same. It was argued that many witnesses from the previous fodder scam case of RC-20A/96, (in which Lalu was convicted), whose statements were adopted in the present case, had submitted that no report of fraudulent withdrawal was sent to the Finance Ministry from the office of the AG.
During a brief hearing on the petition before Special CBI Judge Shivpal Singh, defence counsel Chandan Sinha submitted that many witnesses of RC-20A/96 case had deposed before the court that the files in the AG “were managed” and, therefore, the role of the AG ought to be looked into.
Opposing the petition, CBI counsel Rakesh Prasad submitted that the petitioner approached the High Court on this issue many times and it had settled the matter long ago. The defence counsel challenged the contention.
The court then decided to take the petition on record and listed it for further orders Friday.
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