PATNA: A special CBI court in Ranchi on Thursday put off the announcement of verdict in the fodder scam’s Dumka treasury case, in which jailed RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav figures as accused.
Judge Shiv Pal Singh, who had convicted the 69-year-old former railway minister and Bihar chief minister to a jail term in December last, deferred the verdict when a petition filed by Yadav came up for hearing. The court took on record the petition through which Yadav sought issuance of summons to the then Accountant General as an accused.
A hearing on the petition was listed on Friday, after which the court will deliver its verdict in the Rs 1,000-crore scam’s Dumka treasury case. Court sources said the verdict could come on Friday itself.
The Dumka treasury case (RS 38A/96), registered at a police station in Dumka on February 22, 1996, pertains to allegedly fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.76 crore from the government treasury in Dumka, which is presently in Jharkhand.
Officials of the animal husbandry department, some bureaucrats of the then undivided Bihar government and suppliers of animal food had colluded with politicians to withdraw the amount from the treasury through 96 fake vouchers between December 1995 and January 1996. Such a huge sum of money was withdrawn though the withdrawal limit was fixed at just Rs 1.50 lakh.
Yadav, currently lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail near Ranchi, was then the chief minister of Bihar. He and fellow former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra of Congress, also lodged in the same jail, are among 31 accused in the case who have faced trial.
Of the 48 accused against which CBI had filed a chargesheet, 14 died during the 22-year-long trial and three turned approvers. The prosecution presented 200 witnesses.
Yadav, who has so far been convicted in three previous cases of the scam, was elated by RJD’s sterling performance in the bypolls in Bihar, in which RJD candidates defeated the ruling BJP and JD(U) candidates in Araria Lok Sabha constituency and Jehanabad Assembly constituency.
Offering his tributes to Dalit leader Kanshi Ram on his birth anniversary and describing him as a “great revolutionary,” Yadav demanded that he be conferred Bharat Ratna, the nation’s highest civilian honour.
“On his (Kanshi Ram) birth anniversary, the unprecedented alliance of the backward castes has offered a true tribute to him by defeating the Manuvadi (Brahminical) and divisive forces. Honourable Kanshi Ram should be conferred with Bharat Ratna immediately,” he tweeted.