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Lalu Prasad Yadav convicted in Fodder scam by Special CBI court

Lalu Prasad Yadav

In connection with the fifth fodder scam case, a special CBI court in Ranchi today found RJD chairman Lalu Prasad guilty of fraudulent withdrawal from Doranda Treasury. On February 21, the severity of the punishment will be determined.

The news: In the fifth and last case, Lalu Prasad, who has previously been convicted in four other cases related to the fodder scam, was also named as a suspect.

  • The RJD supremo arrived in Ranchi on Sunday in order to be physically present during the hearing.
  • The court heard arguments in the Rs 139.35 crore Doranda treasury theft case involving Lalu Prasad on January 29 and had postponed its decision.
  • The hearing against 99 suspects, including Prasad, has been ongoing since February last year in the court of Special CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) Judge SK Shashi.

What happened: On January 29, arguments on behalf of the last accused, Shailendra Kumar, were completed. On the day of the verdict, all of the defendants were required to be physically present in court.

  • Out of the 170 initial defendants, 55 have died, seven have become government witnesses, two have accepted the charges against them, and six have fled the country.
  • Apart from Prasad, the major defendants include former MP Jagdish Sharma, then-PAC chairman Dhruv Bhagat, Animal Husbandry Secretary Beck Julius, and Animal Husbandry Assistant Director Dr K M Prasad.

The backstory: The Rs 950-crore scandal involves the illicit removal of public monies from government treasuries in numerous districts across Bihar’s undivided state.

  • The RJD supremo, who was convicted to 14 years in prison and fined Rs 60 lakh, has been granted bail in the four instances involving the treasuries of Dumka, Deoghar, and Chaibasa.
  • After a raid at the Animal Husbandry Department in January 1996, the fodder scam was exposed. In June 1997, the CBI designated Prasad as a suspect. Prasad and former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra were charged by the agency.
  • Prasad, Mishra, and 45 others were convicted in one of the instances relating to the fodder fraud in September 2013, and Prasad was imprisoned in Ranchi Prison.
  • Prasad was granted bail in the case by the Supreme Court in December 2013, and in December 2017, a CBI court declared him and 15 others guilty and sentenced them to Birsa Munda prison.

Jharkhand High Court granted bail to Prasad in April 2021.

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