The state government filed an appeal in Patna High Court on Monday challenging the acquittal order passed by the special CBI court, giving a clean chit to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi in a disproportionate assets case.
The special CBI Judge Muni Lal Paswan on December 18, 2006 has acquitted Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi in the DA case, an offshoot of fodder scam, in its 157-page judgment. The CBI had registered the case against Lalu on August 19, 1998, alleging him of accumulating assets of over Rs 46 lakh disproportionate to his known sources of income between March 1990 and March 1997 as Bihar chief minister. Thereafter, on April 4, 2000 CBI had filed the chargesheet in which the name of the former chief minister Rabri Devi was included alleging abetment of the offence under provision of Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.
State's Law department has appointed Akhleshwar Prasad Singh as a special public prosecutor for the state appeal filed against the acquittal order in DA case and Sanjay Kumar special secretary law department had sworn the affidavit on behalf of state government in the instant state appeal.
The state government, in its appeal petition, has given 19 grounds to challenge the acquittal order. "The order of acquittal is perverse and contrary to the evidence brought on record by the prosecution and the trial judge completely failed to appreciate that the order of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) was not binding on the prosecution of the high profile politicians in the DA case. The trial judge completely ignored the evidences, which were brought on record by the prosecution," the petition said.
Advocate General of Bihar PK Shahi told HT that as per the provision of section 378 of the CrPC the state government is empowered to file appeal against any acquittal order even in the cases investigated by CBI or any other central agency. Referring to the provision of section 378 (1) he said that it is a settled law that the state could file an appeal against any acquittal.