New Delhi: a special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Ranchi condemned Lalu Prasad in a fourth case of fodder scam on Monday, without giving truce to the beleaguered Rashtriya chief Janata Dal (RJD) and former prime minister Bihar .
In addition to Prasad, the former chief minister of Bihar, Jagannath Mishra, and 29 other people, including former officials of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS), were accused of fraudulently withdrawing the crore of Rs3.13 from the treasury of Dumka between December 1995 and January 1996.
The court acquitted Mishra. The amount of punishment for the convicted will be decided by the court on March 21, 22 and 23.
On January 24, Prasad was convicted by the special CBI court in Ranchi in the third case of fodder scam.
Prasad is already serving a sentence of 13.5 years in the three cases of fodder and is currently staying in Birsa Munda prison in Ranchi.
Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi, their daughter Misa Bharti and their son Tejashwi Yadav are already dealing with corruption and money laundering charges filed by the IWC and the Directorate of Enforcement (DE), for irregularities in the awarding of a tender for the development, maintenance and operation of hotels in Ranchi and Puri during the mandate of Prasad as minister of railways in 2004.
Monday’s conviction was another blow to the family.
“I expected an acquittal, we were disappointed, but we respect the verdict and have faith in the judiciary,” Ravi Devi told reporters in Patna.
The Rs900 crore forage scam goes back to two decades when CBI filed a lawsuit against 38 people on October 27, 1997. Eleven of them have since died, three became approvers and two others confessed and were convicted in 2006-07, said an official from CBI.
In 2013, a special court of the CBI sentenced Prasad to five years in prison for fraudulently withdrawing Rs37.8 crore from the treasury of the Bihar government for fictitious medicines and livestock fodder for a period of 20 years. Prasad was unable to participate in the elections and lost his Lok Sabha seat.
The RJD supreme spent two months in jail before obtaining bail from the Supreme Court after challenging his conviction. The judicial decision on his challenge is awaited.
During the second condemnation of the scam in December 2017, the special judge of the CBI court, Shivpal Singh, had detained Prasad and 15 others for embezzlement of the lakh Rs89.27 from the Deoghar treasury between 1991 and 1994.