Two former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra will appear in a CBI court in Jharkhand Tuesday to record statements in a case related to the multi-million rupee fodder scam in which funds meant for buying cattle feed were embezzled in undivided Bihar, a lawyer said.
“The recording of statement in the case (registered in 1996) began Monday. Two former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra will record statements Tuesday,” Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) lawyer B.M.P. Singh told reporters here Monday.
On Monday, statements of nine people were recorded in the court.
The accused whose statements were recorded included Jagdish Sharma, a Lok Sabha MP from Jahanabad in Bihar, former Indian Administrative Service officers Julius Beck, Mahendra Prasad and Phul Chandra Singh and animal husbandry department officers K.M. Prasad and S.N. Sharma.
There are 46 accused in the case, including Lalu Yadav and Mishra. The recording of the statements of the accused began Monday and will continue till Wednesday.
Lalu Yadav Monday arrived in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi to appear in the CBI court Tuesday.
The case is one of the 61 registered in the fodder scam and is related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.37 crore from Chaibasa treasury, now in Jharkhand. There were 330 witnesses in the case and statements of all of them have been recorded.
Lalu Prasad and Mishra are accused in five cases related to the scam. Their trial is on in CBI courts in Ranchi. Lalu Prasad had to quit the Bihar chief minister’s post in 1997 after an arrest warrant was issued against him.
The fodder scam hit the headlines in the late 1990s in Bihar, where officials and politicians were accused of illegally withdrawing crores of rupees of public money in the guise of purchasing cattle fodder.
A total of 61 cases were filed in the scam and 53 were transferred to Jharkhand after it was carved out from Bihar in 2000.
The different CBI courts in Ranchi have passed judgments in 40 cases.