NEW DELHI: Former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav including his longtime comrade, a former chief minister of Bihar Jagannath Mishra were sentenced to five years in jail in a third fodder scam case today. They have also fined at Rs. 5 lakh each for the third fodder cheating. The verdict has been pronounced on Wednesday by Special CBI court in Ranchi after found guilty in the third fodder fraud case.
The fodder scam involved the defalcation of more than Rs. 970 crore in government funds during Lalu Yadav’s term as the Chief Minister of Bihar from 1990 to 1997. The latest case involves the withdraw from cheating of Rs. 33.67 crore from the Chaibasa treasury against an allocation of Rs. 7.10 lakh in 1992-93. Mr. Yadav was named as the main conspirator by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Mr. Yadav’s son and former deputy chief minister of Bihar Tejashwi Yadav, who is now the Leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly, said that the party would appeal in the high court against the conviction and, if necessary, they will appeal in the Supreme Court.
In the beginning of this month, Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav was sent to jail over the cheating withdrawal of Rs. 89 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury between 1990 and 1994. Sentenced to a three-and-a-half-year in prison, Mr. Yadav has applied for bail. The hearing is on.
Mr. Prasad is at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda jail, has turned down the offer of the judge to shift him to an open jail — cottages where prisoners can stay with their families.
He also asked judge Shivpal Singh, who is hearing one of the two other fodder scam cases, the Dumka treasury case, to be “lenient” next time.
The trial in the Dumka Treasury case, involving the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.3.31 crore from Dumka treasury, is in its final stages. In the Doranda Treasury case, the trial is still on.
RJD Lalu Yadav has also convicted in the first case of fodder scam four years ago and got bail after staying in prison for two months. After his second conviction announced by a Ranchi court, last December. Mr. Yadav and his party cried foul, calling it a political vendetta.