Ranchi: A special CBI court today sentenced former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra to 5 years in jail in a fodder scam case.
Earlier in the day, CBI judge SS Prasad pronounced Prasad and Mishra guilty in the case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.62 crore from Chaibasa treasury in the 1990s.
This is the third conviction of Prasad, the RJD supremo, in fodder scam cases. Out of the 56 accused in the case, six were acquitted.
Prasad is lodged in Birsa Munda jail after being convicted last month in the second case of over Rs 900 crore fodder scam linked to the illegal withdrawal of money from Deogarh treasury. Special CBI Court judge Shiv Pal Singh had last Saturday sentenced him to three-and-a-half years in jail in the case.
In all, the 69-year-old RJD president faced five cases in the multi-crore fodder scam in Ranchi and has already been convicted in three of them.
Lalu was on 23 December last year held guilty in the RC 64A/96 pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury and was handed 3.5 years imprisonment on 6 January this year after the special CBI court judge Shiv Pal Singh held him guilty in the case.
On 30 September 2013, Prasad was also held guilty in the RC 20A/96 pertaining to illegal withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore and given five years prison term.
Apart from the above cases, Prasad is also facing charges in the RC 38 A/96 pertaining to alleged illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.97 crore from Dumka Treasury and Rs 184 crore from Doranda Treasury in the early 1990s.
“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 to the high court and, if need be, in the Supreme Court,” Yadav said about his father’s conviction in the third fodder scam case.
The 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 who was viewed as a “hero” by the masses.
“It is a common perception that Lalu Prasad, whom the public views as its hero, has been framed in the cases at the instance of Nitish Kumar and the BJP-RSS brigade,” Yadav told reporters outside Raj Bhavan here. Prasad’s detractors, he added, have always been scared of his immense popularity.