62 convicted in fodder scam, 23 jailed

A special CBI court here Friday convicted 62 people, including 27 government officials, in the 1996 multi-million fodder scam and 23 of them were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment ranging from three to five years.

Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) judge R.R. Tripathy pronounced the judgment in the case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.8.37 crore from Chaibasa treasury. Of the 62 convicted, 27 are government officials and the rest are suppliers.

The court handed down three to five years of rigorous imprisonment to 23 of those convicted and slapped fines between Rs.20,000 and Rs.4.5 lakh as well.

The quantum of sentence against the remaining convicts will be pronounced Saturday.

The multi-million fodder scam surfaced in 1996 when Jharkhand was part of undivided Bihar. A total of 61 cases were transferred to Jharkhand after it was carved out from Bihar in November 2000. The special CBI courts have passed judgement in 32 cases.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad and former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra are accused in five cases and trial of the cases are going on in CBI courts of Ranchi.

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