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Lalu Prasad convicted in final fodder scam case | India News – Times of India

RANCHI: Former Bihar CM and RJD patriarch Lalu Prasad was among 75 suspects convicted on Tuesday in his fifth and final fodder scam case that involved withdrawal of Rs 139.35 crore illegally in 1995-96 from the Doranda treasury, currently in Jharkhand.
The Ranchi CBI special court of additional judicial commissioner SK Shashi pronounced the verdict while acquitting 24 others in the case relating to embezzlement of government money 25 years ago when Lalu was CM of undivided Bihar.
Court will announce Lalu’s sentence on February 21
The quantum of sentence for Lalu and 39 others will be pronounced on February 21. The court sent 35 people to three years in prison and imposed fines ranging from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
Lalu, 73, was taken into judicial custody and sent to Birsa Munda Central Jail in Hotwar immediately after the verdict. The court, however, authorised the jail superintendent to take a call after Lalu’s counsel Prabhat Kumar appealed that the RJD patriarch be admitted to RIMS, Ranchi, because of his ill health. Lalu was later shifted to the hospital. He had spent considerable time in the hospital since his conviction in the other fodder scam cases. He suffers from multiple ailments like diabetes, heart and kidney problems.
The verdict was announced in a jam-packed courtroom where 99 accused and their counsel were present, including Lalu, who is named a conspirator in all five cases and convicted in four before Tuesday.
“He has served 36 months and 17 days in jail in connection with various fodder scam cases till date and this period should be considered by the court in granting bail when we move the higher judiciary for relief,” said his counsel Kumar.
Lalu had secured bail after being sentenced to a total of 14 years in prison in the four cases related to Dumka, Deoghar and Chaibasa treasuries since his first conviction in 2013. He was convicted in the second case in 2017, and the third and fourth in January and March 2018.
As per CBI counsel BMP Singh, former Bihar chief ministers Lalu and Jagannath Mishra and several top politicians were named in five of 53 fodder scam-related cases in Jharkhand.
“The Doranda treasury case was the last in which politicians were involved. This case hogged the headlines because the value of fraudulent withdrawals was huge…Rs 139.35 crore. And also for transportation of tonnes of fodder and cattle on two-wheelers as per bills procured by the CBI during its investigation,” Singh stated.
CBI filed the first chargesheet against 102 people in May 2001, and the second in June 2003 against 68 people, taking the total number of accused to 170. The court framed charges in September 2005. Singh said the CBI produced 575 witnesses and 16 trunk-loads of documents as evidence in the Doranda case. Singh said 55 people died during the course of the trial, including Jagannath Mishra. Among the officials held guilty on Tuesday are then finance secretary Beck Julius and I-T commissioner AC Choudhary.
Senior RJD member Abdul Bari Sidiqqui expressed grief over Lalu’s conviction. “Lalu ji is a son of the soil and has always cooperated with law enforcement agencies,” he said.

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