In a big setback for Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, a special CBI court on Tuesday rejected a petition moved by him challenging his trial in other cases related to the infamous fodder scam.
In his petition, the former Bihar chief minister had urged the special CBI court to quash the trial in three cases against him in connection with the fodder scam.
The RJD chief had contended that he has already been convicted and sentenced in one of the fodder scam cases and since the other three cases are of similar nature so the trial against him should be quashed.
The CBI opposed the plea on the ground that crores of rupees have been siphoned off from the treasury and that the three cases against him differed from each other.
The former chief minister, who was convicted and jailed for five years in a fodder scam case last year, is currently out on bail.
On October 3 last year, former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad was sentenced to five years in prison and fined Rs.25 lakh for his involvement in the fodder scam that surfaced 17 years ago.
The sentencing took away Lalu Prasad’s membership of the Lok Sabha, putting a question mark on the future of one of the country’s best known politicians.
The special CBI court of Pravas Kumar Singh also jailed former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and JD-U leader Jagdish Sharma for four years each.
The CBI court gave its verdict against 37 of the 45 convicts in the fodder scandal, which related to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.37.70 crore from the Chaibasa district treasury when Bihar was an undivided state.
The district became a part of Jharkhand after it was formed in 2000.
One of the convicts, former IAS officer K. Arumugam, who has steadfastly maintained that he has been falsely implicated in the case, was jailed for four years.
A former RJD legislator, R.K. Rana, got five years’ jail and was fined Rs.30 lakh.
A man who had supplied fodder to the Bihar government’s animal husbandry department was asked to cough up Rs.1.5 crore — the maximum fine imposed on anyone in the case.
On September 30, the CBI court had held all 45 accused guilty.