A special CBI court in Ranchi on Thursday deferred the judgment in another fodder scam case involving Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who has already been convicted in three other cases. The court took on record Lalu’s petition seeking issuing of summons to the then Accountant General as accused and listed it for verdict on Friday.
Any final call on the judgment will be taken only after that. The case involved alleged fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs 3.5 crore from Dumka treasury in mid-1990s on the basis of fake vouchers. The hearing in the case was completed on March 5. Prasad is currently serving a prison term of 3.5 years in Birsa Munda Central Jail of Ranchi after being convicted on December 23, 2017, in the Deoghar treasury case.
The judgment in the fourth fodder scam case will be delivered by a special CBI court in Ranchi. During the hearing, the court of special judge Shivpal Singh had also directed the CBI to seek sanction for prosecution against “then Deputy Commissioner of Dumka, Anjani Kumar Singh”. Singh is the Bihar Chief Secretary at present.
Besides Lalu Prasad, there are a total of 31 accused – including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, besides other politicians like Jagdish Sharma, R K Rana and Vidyasagar Nishad. Mishra was earlier acquitted in the second fodder scam case on December 23, 2016, along with five others.
The RJD chief was convicted in the first fodder scam case in 2013 and awarded five years in jail. The conviction also barred him from contesting elections for 11 years in line with the Supreme Court order disqualifying convicts jailed for more than two years from contesting for six years after completion of their sentence. Later, he had got bail in the case.
Lalu was convicted by a special CBI court in the second case on December 23, 2017, and awarded three-and-half years’ imprisonment. He was convicted in the third case on January 24, related to fraudulent withdrawals from the Chaibasa treasury, and awarded a five-year jail term. After the Dumka case, the court will pronounce its judgment in the Doranda treasury case in the coming months.
The RJD has repeatedly chastised Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for “framing” Yadav in the fodder scam cases – an allegation rejected by the JD(U) chief, who broke ranks with the Grand Alliance last year to join the NDA. “What role did (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi or I have to play in the matter? It is an over-20-year-old case lodged by the CBI, which has been probing the matter following a Patna High Court order. In fact, I was not even one of the petitioners, on whose PIL the court had directed the CBI to take up the matter,” Kumar said last month.