A special CBI court on Tuesday fixed September 30 as the judgment day for 45 accused, including Lalu Prasad Yadav, after the RJD chief completed his arguments in a fodder case.
The court of Pravas Kumar Singh heard the arguments of Yadav’s counsel Surendra Singh before reserving the judgement in the case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury in the early 1990s. Yadav’s advocate contended that the entire prosecution against his client was illegal because the then gover nor sanctioned prosecution order against the RJD chief without taking the sanction of the cabinet — an argument the CBI rejected saying it was not necessary for the governor to take the sanction order from cabinet.
The special courts have already pronounced judgments in 44 out of 53 fodder cases over the years. During the course of day- to- day arguments which began on September 9, Yadav’s advocate claimed his client did not know about the scam till 1996. The counsel told the court that the former Bihar chief minister was the person who had issued directions to lodge FIR and take action against the guilty soon after he learnt about it on January 21 that year after getting the preliminary report probed by the then finance commissioner VS Dubey.
Putting up a strong defence claiming his client’s noninvolvement in the case reflected in the fact that 41 FIRs had been lodged on his direction in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of funds from different treasuries in undivided Bihar.
Rejecting the CBI’s contention that Prasad was in the know of the ` 950 crore scam in the early years of 1990s itself, the advocate referred to the recent Supreme Court observations equating the CBI with a caged parrot and claimed the analogy fitted exactly in his client’s case as he was deliberately framed at the behest of the erstwhile governments.
Yadav had to begin arguments from September 9 after the SC had turned down his request to change the current special court to another court after the accused apprehended political conspiracy.