Fodder scam: Five implications for Lalu Prasad following the SC verdict | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Fodder scam: Five implications for Lalu Prasad following the SC verdict

The SC reviving trial in all fodder scam cases against RJD leader Lalu Prasad may have bearing on the Grand Alliance in the long term

india Updated: May 08, 2017 12:21 IST
HT Correspondent
Lalu Prasad

Chief minister Nitish Kumar with RJD chief Lalu Prasad at a function in Patna.(HT file photo)

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav will face trial in all five fodder scam cases with the Supreme Court setting aside the Jharkhand High Court order on Monday.

The apex court, while setting aside the 2014 order which had stayed the trial against Yadav after conviction in one of the cases, said the high court should have been consistent in its findings and not have given different views for different sets of accused in a case.

A look at what the ruling means for Lalu Prasad:

•He will now have to face trial in all four cases against him in the animal husbandry scam.

•His debarment (from contesting elections) under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, will now prolong as long as the trial in the cases goes on.

•The verdict is unlikely to impact political equations in Bihar because chief minister Nitish Kumar is not in favour of breaking the alliance at the moment.

•In the long run, the corruption charges will weigh on the Grand Alliance and may lead to the JD(U) severing ties with the RJD before the next Assembly elections in 2020.

•RJD will now try to formalize deputy chief minister Tejaswi Yadav as the heir apparent to Lalu. He was projected as the successor in the RJD national executive recently.

Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was in 2013 convicted by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in a case related to the embezzlement of funds meant for the purchase and distribution of cattle fodder. Here is a timeline of the events in the case:
  • January: Report on fodder scam appears, alleging crores of rupees have been siphoned off from government treasury in the name of non-existing companies for supply of fodder in districts like Chaibasa.
  • March: Patna high court orders Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the alleged irregularities. Supreme Court upholds high court order.
  • June 17: Governor A.R. Kidwai grants permission to prosecute chief minister Lalu Prasad and others in the case.
  • June 21: In a major embarrassment to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), CBI conducts raids at Lalu Prasad’s residence.
  • July 25: Lalu Prasad, anticipating CBI indictment, steps down and names wife Rabri Devi, who has no political experience, as chief minister.
  • July 29: Supreme Court denies bail to Lalu Prasad.
  • July 30: Lalu Prasad surrenders before the CBI court.
  • December 12: Lalu Prasad released on bail after 135 days in judicial custody.
  • August: A case of disproportionate assets registered against both Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi.
  • April: Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi charged in the case.
  • April 5: Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi surrender. Rabri Devi gets bail.
  • June 9: Charges framed against Lalu Prasad in court.
  • October: Supreme Court transfers cases to Jharkhand with the creation of the new state.
  • November: Lalu Prasad surrenders in Ranchi.
  • December 18: Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi given a clean chit in disproportionate assets case by a special CBI court.
  • December 17: The special CBI court frames charges against Lalu Prasad in fodder case, over the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.3.13 crore from Dumka treasury between ecember 1995 and January 1996.
  • August 13: Supreme Court refuses to transfer the case from the Ranchi court.
  • September 30: CBI court in Ranchi convicts Lalu Prasad in the fodder case that disqualifies him from Parliament and renders him ineligible to contest elections for at least six years. Forty-four others, including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, six politicians and four IAS officers, are also convicted for fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury.
  • Oct 3: Lalu Prasad gets 5 years jail term and Rs 25 lakh fine in this case. The order disqualifies him from Parliament and renders him ineligible to contest elections for at least six years
  • November 14: Jharkhand high court drops conspiracy charge against Lalu Prasad in a case related to the fodder scam, on the ground that a person cannot be tried twice for the same offence.
  • May 8: The Supreme Court reinstated criminal conspiracy charges against Lalu Prasad in a fodder scam case, and said that the former Bihar chief minister will be tried in each of the five remaining cases against him.