Fodder scam: RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, ex-Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra get five-year jail term in Chaibasa Treasury case

Prasad who is also supposed to pay up Rs 5 lakh in fine had been convicted in the first fodder scam case involving withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury on September 30, 2013.

Published: 24th January 2018 11:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2018 04:00 PM   |  A+A-

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav (PTI)

Express News Service

PATNA: A special CBI court in Ranchi on Wednesday convicted Rashtriya Janta Dal chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and sentenced him to a five-year jail term in the third case of multi-crore fodder scam related to fraudulent withdrawal of money from Chaibasa treasury in 1990s.  

Former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra of Congress was also convicted and handed a five-year jail term in the same case by judge SS Prasad, who pronounced 50 of the total 56 accused guilty in the case.

The present case (RC 68(A)/1996) pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.67 crore by officials of animal husbandry department from the district treasury at Chaibasa (in Jharkhand since Bihar’s bifurcation in 2000) in 1992-93. Yadav was the chief minister of Bihar at the time while Jagannath Mishra served as CM before him.

Of the total 76 people named as accused in the case, 14 passed away during the trial while three turned approvers and two pleaded guilty. One accused, Phool Chand Singh, has been absconding.

The 69-year-old Yadav, currently serving a prison term at Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi after being convicted in another case of the same scam last month, was brought to the court from jail amid tight security arrangements along with other accused in the case.

Mishra, in his 80s, was not present in court. His wife passed away two days ago at a hospital in New Delhi.

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After being pronounced guilty, the RJD chief stood still in the courtroom and appeared unfazed. As arguments resumed in the case on the point of the quantum of punishment for the convicts, he wanted to have a cup of tea. He was brought out of the courtroom to a teashop on the court premises, where he had a cup of tea, surrounded by policemen and lawyers.

Yadav, who served as Bihar CM for seven years and then as railway minister for five years, was on January 6 sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for three years and a half in a fodder scam case (RC 64A/96) pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar treasury. Special CBI court judge Shiv Pal Singh, who delivered the judgment, had acquitted Jagannath Mishra in that case.

Earlier, Yadav was sentenced to five years in jail in the first Chaibasa treasury case (RC 20A/96) of the scam on September 30, 2013. After spending 87 days in jail, he walked out on bail granted by the Supreme Court and immersed himself in political activities, though the conviction debarred him from contesting elections for 11 years. 

“The people of Bihar and India consider Lalu Prasad Yadav a hero. They know he is innocent… BJP and Nitish Kumar conspired to frame him in all these cases. We will approach the high court for justice,” said Yadav’s younger son and Bihar’s Opposition leader Tejaswi Yadav, 29, after learning of the conviction.

RJD national vice-president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the conviction verdict will be challenged and a bail application will be filed in the high court shortly.



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