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Verdict in 4th fodder scam case against Lalu Prasad deferred

SNS | New Delhi |

The judgment in the fourth case of multi-crore fodder scam against former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra was deferred by a CBI special court on Thursday after the RJD leader’s counsel filed a plea.

Lalu Prasad filed a fresh petition in the court of Shivapal Singh to make the then Auditor General an accused in the case since he did not report the fraudulent withdrawal from the treasury. The Rashtriya Janata Dal leader’s petition will be heard on Friday.

No date has been fixed yet for the pronouncement of judgement in the case which is related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from Dumka Treasury (RC 38A/96).

The hearing in the fodder case — relating to fraudulent withdrawals of Rs 3.13 crore from December 1995 to January 1996 from the Dumka treasury — was completed on March 5 and the verdict was fixed for March 15. Besides Lalu Prasad, another former Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and 30 others are accused in this case.

Special CBI Judge Shiv Pal Singh put off the judgment in view of the counsel for Lalu Prasad on Wednesday, filing a petition under 319 CrPC, asking that the then three officials of the Accountant General of Office in the 1990s be made a party to the case under 319 CrPC.

Prasad’s counsel said he had filed the petition on Wednesday and re-submitted it on Thursday after correcting some typographical mistakes.

Earlier, Prasad was convicted in three fodder cases while Mishra was convicted in two fodder cases.

Lalu Prasad was convicted in the first fodder scam case in 2013 and awarded five years in jail.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal chief was convicted by a special CBI court in the second case on December 23, 2017, and awarded three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment on January 6.

He was convicted in the third case on January 24, related to fraudulent withdrawals from the Chaibasa treasury, and awarded a five-year jail term.

He now faces two other cases — one in Ranchi and one in Patna.

The multi-million rupee fodder scam surfaced in the 1990s when Lalu Yadav was Chief Minister of undivided Bihar. The probe was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation on the Patna High Court’s order.

(With inputs from agencies)