RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Found Guilty in Fodder Scam Case, Sentencing on Jan 3

In the second blow to the Yadav family on the same day, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad was on Saturday found guilty in one of the four pending fodder scam cases.

The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on January 3.

Special CBI judge Shivpal Singh pronounced the verdict in a packed courtroom, reported PTI.

Lalu was among the 15 of the 22 accused found guilty by a special CBI court in Ranchi for the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury between 1994 and 1996.

The convicts, including the RJD chief, were taken into custody immediately after the pronouncement of the verdict.

Seven of the accused, including former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra, were acquitted, reported ANI.

Earlier in the day, before the verdict was pronounced, Lalu had expressed his “respect” for the country’s courts.

“We trust and respect the judiciary. We will not let BJP’s conspiracies work. The way things happened in the 2G case, they way they happened for Ashok Chavan, the same will happen for me,” he said.

The RJD chief faced five cases in the fodder scam, of which now three are pending. He had been sentenced to five years in jail and fined Rs 25 lakh for the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.5 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in October 2013, but was granted bail by the Supreme Court in December 2013.

In 2014, the Jharkhand high court had stayed the trial against the former Bihar chief minister in four of the pending cases saying that a person convicted in one case could not be tried in similar cases based on same witnesses and evidence. The order, however, was quashed by the apex court, which ordered Lalu to stand trial in all pending fodder scam cases in which he was an accused.

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On Friday, Lalu had stressed that the judgment in the fodder scam would not adversely impact the RJD, which would continue to be led by his sons Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav.

Hours before the judgment in the fodder scam, the Enforcement Directorate filed a chargesheet against Lalu’s daughter Misa Bharti and her husband in a money laundering case.

(With inputs from agencies)

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