Fodder scam case: Lalu Prasad Yadav sentenced to five years in jail, fined Rs 60 lakh
The Rs 950-crore scam relates to the fraudulent withdrawal of public funds from government treasuries in various districts of undivided Bihar
Former Bihar chief minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav has been sentenced to five years in jail in fodder scam case and been fined Rs 60 lakh.
Yadav has been found guilty of illegal withdrawals of Rs 139.35 crore from the Doranda treasury by a special CBI court in Jharkhand's Ranchi. Lalu was earlier sentenced in four fodder scam cases.
This case (RC 47A/97) was the fifth and final one and the biggest of these pertaining to a fodder scam in which 139 crore 35 lakh was illegally withdrawn.
Also read: Lalu Prasad Yadav convicted in 5th fodder case: A look at the case, RJD leader’s previous sentences
Of the original 170 accused in the matter, 55 died, seven have become government witnesses, two have accepted the charges against them and six are absconding. Ninety-nine accused including Lalu Prasad Yadav were left against whom the court gave the verdict on 15 February.
The scam came into light after a raid conducted by Deputy Commissioner of Chaibasa Amit Khare at the Animal Husbandry Department in January 1996. CBI was roped in by the Patna high court in March 1996 after increasing pressure to investigate the case. The CBI registers an FIR in the case at the time when both Bihar and Jharkhand were a unified state.
In June 1997, Lalu Prasad was named an accused in the case for the first time in the chargesheet filed by the CBI.
Following the chargesheet and mounting pressure from the Opposition, Lalu resigned as the chief minister after which he made his wife Rabri Devi the Chief Minister of the state and silently controlled the politics in Bihar in July 1997.
Due to the bifurcation of Bihar and the formation of a new state, Jharkhand, the case is transferred to the Jharkhand High Court in October 2001. Special CBI court begins trial in the fodder scam case from February 2002. Prasad's first conviction came in September 2013, in the Chaibasa treasury case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.70 crore.
He was handed over five years in prison leading to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha membership. He was granted bail by the Supreme Court in December that year.
The RJD's supremo's trouble renewed again in 2017 when a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in December 2017, had convicted him in the second scam case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar treasury.
Prasad was sentenced to 3.5 years of jail term in this case. He was, however, granted bail in July last year after completing half of the 3.5 years' sentence. The former chief minister's third conviction came in January 2018, in the Chaibasa treasury case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.13 crore. He was given five years of imprisonment in this case.
Two months later, the special CBI court in March 2018, had held Prasad guilty under conspiracy and corruption charges in the scam case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.76 crore from Dumka treasury from December 1995, to January 1996. It had handed him 14 years in prison and slapped a fine of Rs 60 lakh on him.
Lending her support to former Bihar chief minister, Congress national general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra earlier said that the speciality of the politics of the BJP is that those who don't bow before the party face harassment.
With inputs from ANI
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