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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Lalu swamped by five more fodder scam cases

Ashok Mishra, Hindustan Times  Patna, October 04, 2013
First Published: 00:22 IST(4/10/2013) | Last Updated: 21:52 IST(4/10/2013)

RJD president Lalu Prasad's legal troubles stemming from the fodder scam are not about to end even if he gets relief in superior courts in the Chaibasa treasury case that earned him a five-year jail term on Thursday.

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Five more cases pending against him are in various stages of trial.

After the conviction and sentencing, Lalu remains an accused in five cases of the 55 filed in connection with the Rs. 950-crore animal husbandry department scam - commonly known as the fodder scam - in undivided Bihar (before Jharkhand was carved out).

Of these, four are in Ranchi (Jharkhand) CBI court, while one is with the Patna (Bihar) CBI court.

Legal experts believe legal procedures will swamp the maverick politician because the cases in the Ranchi CBI court - in different stages of trial - would come up one after another.

A fodder case involving misappropriation of Rs. 139.35 crore from the Doranda treasury is at prosecution evidence stage. The court is yet to examine 336 prosecution witnesses.

In another case involving fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 33.13 crore from Chaibasa treasury, 19 prosecution witnesses including two investigating officers are to be examined.

Similarly, the main investigating officer in another case involving misappropriation of Rs. 3.13 crore from the Dumka treasury is being examined by the court.

The trial in a case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 90 lakh from Deoghar treasury has reached an advanced stage. Only three additional prosecution witnesses remain to be examined. After the closure of the prosecution witnesses, the court will hear the defence witnesses.

The case before the CBI court in Patna relates to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 63 lakh from Bhagalpur treasury.

Lalu was acquitted in disproportionate assets case - an offshoot of the fodder scam - lodged in Patna.

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