Lalu convicted in third fodder scam case

A special CBI court here today convicted Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad in the third fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.62 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in the 1990s.

CBI judge SS Prasad also found another former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and others guilty in the case.

Former Bihar minister Vidyasagar Nishad, ex-Bihar Assembly PAC chief Jagdish Sharma, former MLAs Dhruv Bhagat and R K Rana and three ex-IAS officers were also among the 50 persons who were convicted.

The quantum of sentence is yet to be announced.

The 69-year-old Prasad is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Jail here in connection with another fodder scam case.

Of the total 76 accused, 14 had died, three turned approvers, one is absconding and two others were already convicted. Out of the remaining 56 accused, two government servants and four fodder suppliers were acquitted today.

Soon after the verdict, the RJD said the special CBI court order was not final and it would appeal in the high court and, if necessary, in the Supreme Court.

Leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly and Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi Yadav also accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP of framing his father.

“We have to abide by whatever is the court’s ruling. But the CBI court order is not going to be final. We will appeal in the high court and, if need be, in the Supreme Court,” Yadav said about his father’s conviction in the third fodder scam case.

On January 6, the RJD leader was sentenced to three-and- a-half years in jail and fined Rs 10 lakh by a another CBI judge in a fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.

Prasad had been convicted in the first fodder scam case involving withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury on September 30, 2013 and given five years prison term.

He faces another two scam cases for illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.97 crore from the Dumka Treasury and Rs 184 crore from the Doranda Treasury.

Will appeal in higher court, says Lalu’s son

Soon after Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad was convicted in afodder scam case by the Special CBI courthere Monday, his son Tejaswi Yadav told reporters that the conviction will be challenged in a higher court.

“We will appeal in higher courts, we have faith in the legal system,” Tejaswi Yadav said.
“We will also go to the court of the people. The powers conspiring against us to trap our leader will get a fitting reply in the coming elections,” Tejaswi Yadav said.

Party leader Raghuvansh Prasad called the legal fight a “political battle”.

“We are preparing to file for bail. This is not just a legal battle, this is a political battle. All those who were against us have come together to trap us,” Raghuvansh Prasad said.

He alleged that the popular view against the ordinance which seeks to reverse the Supreme Court judgment on convicted politicians was meant to trap Lalu Prasad.

“In the all-party meeting, it was decided that the Supreme Court judgment on convicted lawmakers will be reversed. But when JD-U (Janata Dal-United) and BJP ( Bharatiya Janata Party) saw that Lalu Yadav is getting convicted, they changed their mind,” Raghuvansh Prasad told a TV news channel.

Asked if he felt that the Congress had abandoned his party, Raghuvansh Prasad replied: “When was the Congress with us? We were with them just to fight communal forces.”

(Source: IANS)

Lalu Prasad begins arguments in fodder scam case

Arguments on behalf of RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Monday began in a case related to multi-million-rupee lapses in Bihar animal husbandry department, popularly known as the fodder scam.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader’s lawyer presented his arguments in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court in Ranchi.

The lawyer told the court that the case was filed on the instructions of Lalu Prasad, a former Bihar chief minister, when the scam was brought to his notice in 1996.

 He alleged Lalu Prasad was implicated in the case. Lalu Prasad earlier moved the Supreme Court alleging bias in the trial and sought the transfer of the proceedings to another court.

The plea was rejected by the apex court which asked the Ranchi court to complete the arguments in the trial.

The CBI court had earlier fixed July 15 for verdict but the decision was put off after the RJD chief moved the Jharkhand High Court and the apex court alleging bias.

The case is related to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.37.70 crore from Chaibasa treasury, which now is part of Jharkhand. The 45 accused included Lalu Prasad and former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra.

The scam in Bihar surfaced in 1996. Around 54 of the 61 cases were transferred to Jharkhand when it was carved out of Bihar in November 2000.

Setback for Lalu: Plea to transfer fodder scam case dismissed

The Jharkhand high court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad seeking transfer of a fodder scam from a CBI court. The verdict in the case is to be pronounced July 15.

“The Jharkhand high court dismissed the petition seeking transfer from the CBI court,” Lalu Prasad’s lawyer said.

Lalu Prasad, in his petition, sought the transfer of fodder scam case number RC 20A/96 from the CBI court of Pravas Kumar Singh in Ranchi, alleging that the judge was a relative of Janata Dal-United leader and Bihar education minister PK Sahi.

 The hearing in the case has been completed and the judge has fixed July 15 for the verdict.

The court also directed all the 45 accused to remain present in the court on July 15.

The case is related to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 37.70 crore from the Chaibasa treasury of undivided Bihar and which is now a part of Jharkhand. Lalu Prasad was then the Bihar chief minister. Among the 45 accused is Jagannath Mishra, also a former Bihar chief minister.

The July 15 verdict will be the first in the five cases – out of a total of 61 – involving Lalu Prasad and Mishra.

Lalu Prasad had quit as Bihar chief minister in 1997 when his name figured in the CBI investigations into the case.

The Rs. 900 crore fodder scam first surfaced in 1996 when large amounts were found to have been disbursed from the Bihar state exchequer for purchasing fodder and medicines for non-existent livestock.

Around 54 of the 61 cases were transferred to Jharkhand when it was carved out of Bihar in November 2000.

(Source: ISBN)

Stop victimisation of Muslim youths

Several activists and political leaders, including CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, has demanded that “the harassment and victimisation of innocent Muslims youths” by security agencies in the name of fighting terror be stopped.

In a convention on “Politics of Terror”, organised here by representatives of Left and other political parties, they asked the government to stop the arrests of “innocent Muslim youths”.

Various universities lecturers, Political leaders, human rights activists, lawyers and professors has been participated in the convention.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad said: “The situation is deteriorating day by day for the Muslim community.” Police is targeting Bihar’s Muslim youths, he said.

“After Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh, Bihar’s Muslim youths are on the hit-list of police and central agencies,” Yadav alleged at the meet.

Districts of Bihar like Sitamarhi, Madhubani and recently Darbhanga have witnessed such arrests.

Darbhanga’s native Fasih Mahmood, an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative was arrested by Delhi Police on charges of a 2010 bombing incident at Jama Masjid here.

The 35-year-old engineer from Bihar, employed in Saudi Arabia, was arrested at Delhi airport Oct 22 when he arrived after his deportation from that country.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Karat said: “The agencies are misusing the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The Muslim youths are their soft target. Those youths are arrested on allegations of terror (and are) very easily booked under this law.”

Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ramvilas Paswan, CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan and independent member of the Rajya Sabha Mohd. Adeeb also condemned the arrests of Muslim youths.

They also said, “Several Muslim youths have been acquitted by the courts in the past few years after they were found innocent of terror charges.”