Jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad on Thursday filed a criminal appeal petition before the Jharkhand High Court challenging the order of conviction and sentence of a CBI court in the fodder scam. The court is likely to hear the petition on Friday.
Lalu would have to wait till October 25 if the court does not take up his case on Friday (October 18) as the high court has designated Friday of every week as the day for hearing cases related to the fodder scam.
The former Bihar chief minister apart from seeking review of the lower court’s judgment has also sought bail for his release from jail through the petition.
Lalu, in his petition, has out rightly rejected the lower court’s verdict claiming it to be “wholly void”. Lalu stated that the CBI has implicated him in the case on the charges of “prejudice” that he let the scam perpetrate right under his nose knowing everything about that.
However, the agency has yet to furnish evidences to prove his prejudice or complicity. He has alleged that the “conspiracy charges” are orchestrated one and a well thought out one hatched by many conspirators.
“All the accused are not party to a single conspiracy. The case must fall on this ground alone,” he argued.
He also claimed that the examination of accused under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure during the trial was defective.
A CBI Court in Ranchi on September 30 had convicted Lalu and 44 others in the fodder scam case RC 20 (A)/96 and on October 3 had sentenced him to five years of rigorous imprisonment. Lalu has been serving the sentence since conviction at the Birsa Munda Central Jail here.
Besides, the RJD chief, 24 other convicts of the case also filed petition in the high court including former Bihar minister RK Rana.
Grounds taken by Lalu in his appeal petition:
• The trial is ‘wholly void’
• No evidence to prove ‘prejudice’ that he let the scam perpetrate right under his nose knowing everything about that.
• ‘Conspiracy charges’ are orchestrated one and a well thought out one hatched by many conspirators.
• Examination of accused under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure during the trial was defective