A special CBI court in Ranchi on Monday convicted Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fourth fodder scam case that pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.5 crore from the Dumka treasury. The quantum of punishment in the case is yet to be pronounced. Ex-chief minister Jagannath Mishra was acquitted by the court. CBI judge Shiv Pal Singh held guilty the 69-year-old RJD chief along with 18 others. Mishra was among 12 acquitted in the case RC 38 A/96 pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from Dumka treasury in the early 1990s.
The scandal came to light in 1996 following a raid conducted by the Deputy Commissioner of Chaibasa, Amit Khare, at the Bihar Animal Husbandry Department.
In 1997, Lalu Prasad was charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the fodder scam. The CBI, which was probing allegations of embezzlement of treasury funds to non-existent companies for purchase and supply of cattle fodder in Bihar, had found alleged irregularities worth Rs 950 crore. The scam forced Lalu, then CM of the state, to resign. It was during this period that he disassociated himself from the Janata Dal and formed his own party, the RJD. On resigning, he installed his wife, Rabri Devi as CM. In total, the CBI has filed 63 cases under IPC Sections 420 (forgery) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and Section 13 (b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Here is a list of all fodder scam cases:
First fodder scam case: Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted in the first fodder scam case in 2013 and awarded five years in jail. The court charged the RJD chief with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 47 lakh from the treasuries at Banka and Bhagalpur districts, where alleged forged and fake bills were drawn by the Animal Husbandry Department in 1995-96 when he was the CM. Among the 45 other convicts were former chief minister Jagannath Misra.
The conviction also barred Yadav 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.
Second fodder scam case: Months after the Grand Alliance collapsed and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar joined hands with the BJP to form a new government, Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted in a second fodder scam case on December 23, 2017. The case pertained to fraudulent withdrawal of money to the tune of over Rs 89 lakh from Deoghar treasury between 1991 and 1994 when Yadav was the chief minister and also handled the finance department.
He was sentenced by a special CBI court to three-and-a-half years of rigorous imprisonment, even though former CM Jagannath Misra was acquitted. Yadav was also imposed a cumulative fine of Rs 5 lakh in connection with charges under the Indian Penal Code and Rs 5 lakh pertaining to charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Third fodder scam case: A month after he was convicted in the second fodder scam case, Lalu Prasad was pronounced guilty in the third case on January 25, 2018, which pertains to withdrawal of funds to the tune of Rs 37.62 crore from the treasury of West Singhbhum (Chaibasa) — now in Jharkhand – in 1992-93. Jagannath Mishra was also convicted. Both Lalu and Mishra were sentenced to five-year rigorous imprisonment under various sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, along with a cumulative fine of Rs 10 lakh.
Fourth fodder scam case: A special CBI court in Ranchi, on March 19, 2018, pronounced Lalu Prasad Yadav guilty in the fourth fodder scam case pertaining to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.5 crore from the Dumka treasury (which is now in Jharkhand) over two decades ago. The court, however, acquitted Jagannath Mishra in the case.
The order on quantum of punishment will be passed following arguments on March 21, 22 and 23. Judge Shivpal Singh pronounced the judgment in which a total of 19 accused were convicted, while 12 were acquitted. Besides Lalu, the court also convicted politicians including R K Rana, Jagdish Sharma, Dhruv Bhagat and Vidyasagr Nishad.
Fifth fodder scam case: A special CBI court will pronounce its judgment in the fifth fodder scam (Doranda treasury) case in the coming months. The case relates to fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs. 47.5 crore from the Doranda Treasury in the 1990s.