As on Thursday, January 4 the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ranchi will be announcing the quantum of punishment for former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad Yadav and 15 others convicted in the fodder scam case. Lalu Prasad Yadav is currently lodged in Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. The quantum of punishment was earlier scheduled for today but due to the passing away of advocate Vindeshwari Prasad has been postponed to January 04, 2018.
What is the Fodder Scam case?
Fodder Scam case is a corruption scandal involved the fabrication of “vast herds of fictitious livestock” for which fodder, medicines and animal husbandry equipment was supposedly procured for 20 years. The case involves total 34 people from politicians to bureaucrats including RJD and former chief minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav, former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra. Out of total 34 people involves in this case, 11 died during the trail. The Scandal broke in 1996, after which CBI took over the investigation.
Lalu Yadav is accused in two main cases of Fodder Scam. One is Deoghar District Treasury and other is Chaibasa treasury. In Deoghar case fraudulent withdrawal of 84.5 lakh from Deoghar district treasury between 1991 and 1994 happened. Lalu Yadav is considered mastermind in this case because as former chief and finance minister, he gave extensions and allowed loot to continue despite objections from many bureaucrats.
Originally the case first came out in 1985, when CAG TN Chaturvedi noticed that monthly accounts submission from Bihar treasury were always delayed. The case resurfaced in a big way for the first time in 1996 when the state finance secretary VS Dubey started looking into the matter and ordered inspections across all districts. A massive raid on the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) at Chaibasa uncovered a stash of documents showing illegal withdrawals from the state treasury. Now the case spans across 64 cases and over 56 accused.
In October 2013, RJD chief was convicted in one of the cases of Fodder Scam for misappropriations of Rs. 37.5 crore from Chaibasa treasury. After the Verdict came out, he disqualified from Lok Sabha and barred from contesting elections and sentenced 5 years in jail and fined Rs. 25 Lakh. Lalu Yadav spent 87 days in jail in 2013. After which the SC granted him bail in December in 2013.
But In 2014 Jharkhand High Court announced relief to the former Bihar Chief Minister and others by dropping charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and prevention of corruption.
But In May 2017 SC 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.
On 23 December 2017 Special CBI in Ranchi convicted the RJD chief and 15 others in second Fodder Scam connected with the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury between 1994 and 1996.
In fodder Scam, total Rs 900 crore was embezzled from the state exchequer for fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle over a period of 20 years.