Lalu guilty

Lalu guilty
Highlights

A special CBI court on Saturday found former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav guilty of charges in one of the six cases lodged against the leader in the 1996 fodder scam. The court also found 14 others guilty in the case. On the other hand, the court acquitted six others, including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra.

New Delhi: A special CBI court on Saturday found former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav guilty of charges in one of the six cases lodged against the leader in the 1996 fodder scam. The court also found 14 others guilty in the case. On the other hand, the court acquitted six others, including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra.

Lalu was taken into custody immediately after the verdict was announced by CBI judge Shivpal Singh. The quantum of punishment for Yadav and others convicted will be declared on January 3, 2018. Lalu has been taken to the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. Security has been increased outside the prison complex.

RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh has said, “We will move the High Court against the CBI court order convicting Lalu Prasad in the case”. Singh also questioned the judgement saying how did it come to be that Mishra got bail while Lalu was put in prison.

The case pertains to a scam which emerged in the 90’s involving siphoning of large sums of money from government treasuries in Deogarh and other places to the tune of Rs 89.27 lakhs between 1991-94. Of the six cases in the scam, this was the second in which verdict was pronounced. The RJD chief was also held guilty on September 30, 2013 in the first case, but the Supreme Court granted him bail in December that year. In the aftermath of the verdict, he was disqualified from Parliament and was banned from contesting elections.

Anticipating disturbance in law and order situation outside the special CBI court in Ranchi by RJD supporters following the verdict, police made special arrangements which included security personnel in riot gear.

Lalu alleged that BJP-ruled governments since the time of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have been after him and his family members, using the CBI as an excuse since the past 25 years. Calling the verdict “politically motivated,” RJD leader Manoj Jha accused the BJP of engineering the CBI court’s decision.Lalu compared to Mandela. The twitter account of Lalu Prasad Yadav was abuzz with activity after the verdict was announced.

Comparing Lalu to Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and BR Ambedkar, twitter handle @laluprasadrjd said, “Had people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Baba Saheb Ambedkar failed in their efforts, history would have treated them as villains. They still are villains for the biased, racist and casteist minds. No one should expect any different treatment.” In a series of tweets, Lalu’s handle slammed the BJP, saying that “truth will prevail” and that the ruling government’s “rhetoric” and “bias driven propoganda” will be defeated.

Lalu’s son and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav also took to twitter to express his anguish over his father’s conviction. He appealed for peace from party workers and implored them to respect the court’s decision. He added that truth cannot be defeated and that “we will win for sure”. Congress reaction Congress leader Manish Tewari told reporters, “Lalu Yadav has been fighting this legal battle since 1996. It started when BJP leaders filed PIL against him in Patna HC. He and his lawyers are capable of fighting this case.

I want to ask BJP why Srijan scam is not being investigated.” Verdict expected Bihar Deputy CM and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said that the verdict was on the “expected” lines. He said that Lalu had to go to jail because of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by him and Shivananad and Lalan Singh, however, Shivanand now was “defending the undefensible” (sic). Speaking on the RJD chief’s conviction in the fodder scam case, Union minister and BJP leader JP Nadda said, “Lalu Prasad Yadav is even now politicizing the issue instead of accepting the verdict, just to deviate he is leveling allegations of conspiracy on BJP.”

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