PATNA: Making an openly casteist interpretation of the conviction of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam case and questioning the verdict’s merits has got three RJD leaders and a Congress leader in trouble as the special CBI court in Ranchi on Wednesday issued them notice for contempt of court.
The court of judge Shivpal Singh, who convicted Yadav and 15 others in the Deoghar treasury case of the fodder scam on December 23, issued notices to Yadav’s younger son and Bihar Opposition leader Tejaswi Yadav, senior RJD leaders Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Shivanand Tiwari and senior Congress leader Manish Tiwari.
“Asking the four leaders why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for their remarks, the court summoned them for appearance on January 23,” said lawyer Arvind Singh.
The RJD chief’s elder son and former Bihar health minister Tej Pratap Yadav has been served a legal notice by Supreme Court lawyer Vaibhav Mishra for making a casteist interpretation of the CBI court’s verdict.
“Jagannath Mishra ko bail, Lalu Yadav ko jail, yeh hai Narendra Modi ka khel,” (Freedom for Jail Jagannath Mishra, but jail for Lalu; this is Narendra Modi’s game) said Raghuvansh, a former Union minister, on the court premises minutes after Lalu was convicted.
Several RJD leaders had put a similar casteist spin over Lalu’s conviction and the acquittal of Mishra, an upper-caste Brahmin unlike Yadav, who hails from an OBC group.
Shivanand Tiwari had on Tuesday strongly backed such statements, telling a news channel that Lalu would not have been convicted if his surname were Mishra. These comments were seen by many as efforts to fuel further caste-based rifts in Bihar society for political gains.
“I find it surprising and shocking because none of us uttered a single word against the judicial process or the judgement,” said RJD national spokesperson Manoj Jha.
Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi of BJP said a court of law does not pass judgments on the basis of caste and that Bihar has now moved beyond caste politics.