Sixty-four convicts were Tuesday given two to five years’ jail terms by a CBI special court here in a case related to the multi-crore rupee fodder scam in which funds of the animal husbandry wing meant for buying cattle feed were embezzled in undivided Bihar whose ex-chief minister Lalu Prasad was also named as an accused.
The 64 convicts, including 23 officials of the animal husbandry department, were accused of fraudulently withdrawing Rs.12.22 crore from Ranchi’s Dornada treasury in a case registered in 1996, an official said.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Court Judge N.N. Singh also slapped fines ranging from Rs.25,000 to Rs.10 lakh on the convicts.
Twenty convicts, who were awarded less than three years’ imprisonment, were granted bail by the court.
The CBI filed a charge sheet against the accused in 2000. The charges were framed in 2004.
Two former Bihar chief ministers, Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra, are accused in five cases related to the scam. Their trial is on in CBI courts in Ranchi.
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.
With Tuesday’s verdict, different CBI courts in Ranchi have passed judgments in 40 cases.