Former Bihar Chief Minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad was on Saturday convicted in a fodder scam case by a special CBI court here. Former Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra as well as six others were acquitted in the case.

The quantum of punishment will be announced on January 3, Special CBI judge Shivapal Singh ruled. The case relates to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from Deoghar district treasury  between 1991 and 1994. In this case, Lalu Yadav faces accusations that as the Chief Minister and Finance Minister back in the nineties, he kept the file for an inquiry against the mastermind of the scam pending for 16 months and gave three other officials extensions despite objections from bureaucrats. The CBI says he was aware of the scam but allowed the loot to continue by his inaction.

Of the 34 people initially accused in the case, 11 died during the course of trial, while one turned approver and admitted to the crime. Special CBI judge Shivapal Singh had completed hearing the case on December 13 and asked all accused in the case to remain present in court for the judgment. In October 2013, Mr Yadav was convicted in one of the cases - on charges of embezzling Rs. 37 crore. That verdict had disqualified him from the Lok Sabha and contesting elections.

In 2014, the Jharkhand High Court had given relief to the former Bihar Chief Minister and others by dropping charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and prevention of corruption. The court had quashed the cases on the grounds that a person convicted in one case could not be tried in similar cases based on same witnesses and evidences.

In May this year, the Supreme Court ruled that Lalu Yadav will have to stand trial in all the fodder scam cases, setting aside the high court order that dropped cases charges against the former Bihar chief minister. The former chief minister of Bihar had been charged in several cases related to the scam, in which Rs. 900 crore were embezzled from the state exchequer for fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle over a period of 20 years. The CBI started probing the case in 1996.  

(Courtesy: NDTV)