Lalu Prasad convicted in fourth fodder scam case
RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, already convicted in three cases of Bihar's infamous fodder scam, has been held guilty in yet another. While Yadav has been convicted for fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 3.13cr from the Dumka treasury, former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra has been acquitted. The quantum of sentence is expected to be pronounced on Friday. Yadav is currently in prison in another case.
What is the fodder scam?
About two decades have passed since the fodder scam was unearthed. In 1985, then CAG TN Chaturvedi noticed a delay in monthly account submissions from Bihar and false expense reports. It was later found that politicians and bureaucrats who belonged to successive administrations had embezzled money in the name of purchasing livestock feed. 64 such cases have surfaced till now.
What was Yadav's role in the scam?
After the scam unraveled, BJP state chief Sushil Modi filed a PIL in 1997 demanding a CBI enquiry in the case. Then CM Yadav and former CM Mishra were named in CBI's chargesheet. Reportedly, about Rs. 950cr was systematically looted by government officials with full backing of the political leadership. The CBI subsequently requested permission for prosecution proceedings against Yadav.
The verdicts against Lalu Yadav
Yadav was convicted in the first case in 2013 and given five years' jail. He was held guilty of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 89.27L from the Deoghar treasury in December and sentenced to 3.5 years' imprisonment. In January, he got five years' jail for looting Rs. 33.67r from the Chaibasa treasury. Another case regarding withdrawal of Rs. 139cr from the Doranda treasury is pending.
Yadav is currently lodged in Ranchi's BIrsa Munda jail
Yadav has been in Ranchi's Birsa Munda jail since December 23 after conviction in the Deoghar case. In the Dumka case, 19 have been convicted, while 12 have been acquitted. Senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said: "We'll appeal in higher court against special CBI court. From there we're sure to get justice." Meanwhile, Yadav, who is unwell, has been in hospital since Saturday.