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Lalu Prasad found guilty in 4th fodder scam case, punishment to be announced later

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad had already been convicted in three fodder cases while Jagannath Mishra was convicted in two fodder cases.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2018 23:02 IST
Bedanti Saran
Bedanti Saran
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
lalu Prasad Yadav,Lalu prasad guilty,Fodder scam
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav arrives at the special CBI court in connection with multi-crore fodder scam case in Ranchi on Thursday.(PTI Photo)

A special CBI court in Ranchi on Monday convicted Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad after finding him guilty on the charges of conspiracy and corruption in the fourth fodder scam case out of the six lodged against him 22 years ago.

The former Bihar chief minister has been serving a jail term in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Central Jail since last December after his conviction in two other fodder scam cases. Two days ago, he was shifted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) after he complained of chest pain.

Barring Prasad, the court of special judge Shivpal Singh acquitted all five politicians, including former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra, in the case related to a fraudulent withdrawal of ?3.76 crore from the Dumka treasury between December 1995 to January 1996. Out of 31 accused who faced trial, the court convicted 19 and acquitted 12. It fixed March 21, 22 and 23 to hear arguments on sentencing.

Prasad’s advocate Prabhat Kumar said, “The court has categorised the convicted persons in alphabetical order and formed three groups each having six convicts. It has fixed three dates allocating each group a single day to hear arguments on the point of sentences. My client’s turn will come on March 22.”

The judge, while communicating the verdict, found that Prasad was not present in court. With no intimation about his health, the judge directed jail authorities to make Prasad appear. The 69-year-old was then rushed from the hospital to the court, where he spent about 10 minutes.

Monday’s verdict was described by the RJD workers as a ”political conspiracy”.

“Lalu goes to jail while Jagannath Mishra gets bail. It is a conspiracy of BJP and the Narendra Modi government. When they failed to defeat Lalu in politics, they chose different path to crush him,” said senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.

Prasad is still facing trial in another fodder scam case in Jharkhand. This is the biggest of the lot, related to the fraudulent withdrawal of R139 crore from Ranchi’s Doranda treasury.

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 13:41 IST