Ranchi: A special CBI court here on Monday convicted RJD leader and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad in the fourth fodder scam case, but acquitted former Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra.
The case relates to fraudulent withdrawal of over 3 crore rupees from the Dumka treasury between December 1995 and January 1996. Besides Lalu Prasad, another former Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and 30 others were also accused in this case.
Judge Shuvapal Singh delivered the judgment relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from December 1995 to January 1996 from the Dumka treasury. The verdict, scheduled on 15 March, was deferred four times.
This is the second case in which Mishra has been acquitted. Both Lalu Prasad and Mishra are facing five cases each in the fodder scam in Ranchi.
There were 31 accused in this case, of which 19 were convicted and 12 acquitted.
The court had earlier postponed the judgement in view of the Lalu Prasad’s counsel filing a petition under 319 CrPC asking the then three officials of the Accountant General (in the 1990s) be made a party to the case.
Prasad had already been convicted in three fodder cases while Mishra was convicted in two fodder cases.
The 69-year-old RJD chief Lalu Prasad has been in Birsa Munda jail at Ranchi since 23 December last year after being convicted in the second fodder scam case pertaining to illegal withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deogarh treasury 21 years ago.
On 6 January this year, the CBI court judge had sentenced Prasad to three-and-a-half years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on him in the Deoghar treasury case.
In 2013, Prasad was convicted in the first fodder scam case involving the withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury and sentenced to five years in jail while Mishra was given a prison term of four years.
The CBI court had on 24 January this year sentenced Prasad and Mishra to five years in jail in a fodder scam case in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.62 crore from the Chaibasa treasury.
The fifth case relating to illegal withdrawal of Rs 139 crore from the Doranda treasury in Ranchi is pending with the court.
The over Rs 900-crore fodder scam cases relate to illegal withdrawal of money from government treasuries in different districts of the animal husbandry department in undivided Bihar in the 1990s when the RJD was in power in the State and Lalu Prasad was the chief minister.