Fodder Scam Lands Lalu in Jail Again, Jagannath Mishra Acquitted
- Convicted in 2013 in another case of fodder scam
- 6 different cases have been labelled against him
- Ninth time he lands in jail, 5th in fodder scam
- Third time in Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi
Former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted by a special CBI court in the 1996 fodder scam. After 20 years of investigation, the CBI court in Ranchi has found Lalu Yadav guilty of fraudulent withdrawal of public money worth 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury (then in Bihar, now in Jharkhand), between the years 1991 to 1994. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on 3rd January.
He was earlier convicted and sentenced to five years jail in the first fodder scam case of swindling money through fake receipts and vouchers of 37.50 crores from Chaibasa Treasury in 2013, which technically barred him from contesting elections for next 11 years, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to disqualify convicts jailed for more than two years.
Apart from the chief accused Lalu, the CBI special court also convicted 15 others in the fodder scam. It includes politicians like Jagdish Sharma and RK Rana, IAS officers Beck Julius, Phoolchand Singh and Mahesh Prasad, and other government officials Krishna Kumar and Subir Bhattacharya.
However, the special CBI judge Shivpal Singh acquitted the three-time former Congress CM of Bihar Jagannath Mishra and five other accused in the same case. After the conviction, Lalu Yadav and the other convicts were taken to Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Jail.
In the wake of Jagannath Mishra acquittal, RJD senior leader Raghuvansh Prasad, who was present in the court premises said, “Jagannath Mishra ko bail aur Lalu ko jail…ab yahi hai khel..(bail for Mishra and jail for Lalu, this is the game now.) When both are facing the same charges in the same case, how can one get bail and the other be jailed?”
As soon as the CBI convicted Lalu Yadav, he tweeted, “powerful people and powerful classes always managed to divide society into ruling and the ruled classes. And whenever anyone from the lower hierarchy challenged this unjust order, they would be deliberately punished. Had people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Baba Saheb Ambedkar failed in their efforts, history would have treated them as villains…No one should expect any different treatment.”
Congress leader Manish Tiwari criticized the government to use CBI as a pet. He said, “The CBI is acting like a pet performing parrot of this government.”
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Lesson’s of today’s conviction is that law will catch up with you, if you commit corruption.”
Lalu Yadav has said that he will challenge the verdict in the High Court.