Final arguments begin against Lalu, Mishra in fodder scam

Final arguments in trial of one of the fodder scam cases involving former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra, as accused, began on Friday.

The final argument stage is the last step of the trial after which the court pronounces its judgment.

When the court proceedings began in the morning, special judge P K Singh asked prosecution (CBI) lawyer BMP Singh to start his arguments in the case.

“I have presented my submissions today (Friday). The court will remain closed on account of the festive season from October 20 to November 30. I will try my level best to conclude CBI’s arguments at the earliest,” BMP Singh said.

However, one of the lawyers overseeing the case on behalf of one of the accused, said: “It will take a minimum time of two months to conclude the final arguments from both the sides.

Therefore, the judgment of the case is likely to come in January-February next year.” Meanwhile, Lalu Prasad, who is also the chief of Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) moved a petition before the Jharkhand high court challenging the lower court’s order declining to summon P C Chawla from Thailand to record his statements as a defence witness.

 Prasad also challenged the lower court’s order disallowing many witnesses, listed by him, to testify. The matter relates to RC 20 (A)/96 case of the fodder scam. It pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of R37 crore from Chaibasa treasury and involves 42 accused, including Prasad and Mishra.

The two former chief ministers have been charged in the case with providing umbrella protection to scamsters. The recording of testimony by 350 prosecution witnesses in the case has been completed. Deposition of all defence witnesses, except those in the list produced by Prasad, has also been completed.

Prasad is accused in four more fodder scam cases which are at different stages of trial.


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