New Delhi: RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav appeared in a special CBI court in Ranchi on Monday over his involvement in a multi-crore fodder scam. Lalu flew to Ranchi on Sunday evening.
Lalu’s counsel Prabhat Kumar told ANI, “The case is pertaining to RC38A/1996, in which there are a total of 48 accused and most of them were evading personal appearance. That is why all the accused had been ordered by the court to appear before it.”
“So far 15-17 accused have marked their presence in the court, and more are expected to visit. The court will take legal action against those who failed to comply with its order,” Kumar added.
Earlier on June 2, the court had summoned all 38 people accused in a case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.31 crore from Dumka treasury including the RJD chief.
The case trial is under process.
Lalu Yadav had already been convicted in a fodder scam and he was awarded five years sentence in October 2013. He is currently on bail.
The fodder scam relates to fraudulent withdrawal of around 1,000 crore rupees by the Animal Husbandry department from various districts when Lalu was the Bihar chief minister from 1990 to 1997.
The scandal led to the end of Lalu’s Chief Ministerialship and disqualified him from membership of the Parliament.
Meanwhile, with important files related to the fodder scam reportedly missing from the animal and fisheries resources department office in Patna, Union Minister and BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy alleged that this was all being done to get a clean-chit for RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav by his partner in crime Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Rudy said this is all being done by the incumbent grand alliance government in Bihar to facilitate Lalu’s acquittal.
“The missing files signify there are people in the system trying to get a clean-chit for Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav. Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar are friends and they are partners in crime,” he told ANI.
Rudy recalled that the RJD boss had to quit as the Bihar chief minister in 1997 because he was charged and sentenced in the fodder scam.
“Thereafter, the CBI chargesheeted him. He was put behind the bars. He had to quit his position as the chief minister,” he said.
“There are reports that the file pertaining to the Fodder scam has been stolen. And it clearly emphasises that there are people in the system who possibly would be working to give a clean-chit or to assist or facilitate the acquittal of Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav,” he added.
Continuing his tirade against the Nitish-Lalu duo, Rudy said crime has increased in Bihar, adding the state government has begun to protect the criminals.
“It seems it’s a part of that very same chain. We are all very concerned that the process of law and the process of justice will stand vitiated if such incidents happen where the files pertaining to fodder scam are stolen,” he added.
Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered at the Old Secretariat police station in this regard.
The fodder scam involved the embezzlement of about Rs. 9.4 billion from the government treasury of Bihar.