Lalu Prasad held sentenced to 7 years in jail: All about the fodder scam case

Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad is an accused in six fodder scam cases and risks losing all of them.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2018 12:10 IST
Lalu Prasad,fodder scam,Jagannath Mishra
ormer Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav leaves a special CBI court after being being guilty in the fourth multi-crore fodder scam case, in Ranchi on Monday. (PTI)

Former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad was on Saturday sentenced to seven years in jail in the fourth fodder scam case by a special CBI court in Ranchi. Prasad had already been convicted in three fodder cases.

Here are details of the fodder scam cases against Lalu Prasad:

The fodder scam

The fodder scam is a collective term for a set of 64 cases, of which 53 were litigated in Ranchi. Lalu Prasad is named as an accused in six of these cases.

The Rs 950-crore fodder scandal occurred in the mid-90s when huge sums of money were withdrawn from various government treasuries in undivided Bihar by creating on paper herds of cattle for whom fodder, medicines and equipment were shown as brought. Over a period of 14 years, receipts for fodder, transportation and cattle were manufactured out of thin air to siphon off funds from the animal husbandry department. It is alleged that Mishra and Prasad presided over the loot through a nexus of gung-ho bureaucrats and suppliers.

It was in 1990 that an audit report by a deputy accountant general first put the word scam down in writing. Scooters, cars, jeeps, tankers and station wagons were shown to have been used to transport bulls, cows and goats worth Rs 30 crore to remote locations of Ranchi under a tribal sub plan.

Finally, in January 1996, the scam tumbled out, when Amit Khare, deputy commissioner, West Singhbhum smelt a rat and visited the animal husbandry department. “I found bills and vouchers scattered all over. We even found cash strewn all over the place. I sealed the office and ordered the treasury not to make any further payments,” Khare recalled in October 2013.

Cases against Lalu Prasad

The other cases which are to be completed against him are related to the treasuries of Chaibasa, Doranda in Ranchi involving Rs 139.39 crore, Dumka (Rs 3.31 crore) and Patna.

September 30, 2013: The first of Lalu’s convictions in the fodder scam case came in September 2013. He sentenced to five years in jail and barred from elections for 11 years, in line with the Supreme Court order disqualifying convicts jailed for more than two years from contesting for six years after completion of their sentence. Lalu appealed against his conviction. In December 2013, Lalu got bail in this case.

December 23, 2017: In December last year, Lalu was convicted by a special CBI court in Ranchi in a second case related to the fodder scam.

In this particular case, the prosecution alleged that between 1991 and 1994, when Lalu was chief minister of undivided Bihar, Rs 89.27 lakh were withdrawn fraudulently from the Deoghar treasury, using fake allotment letters and vouchers.

January 24, 2018: A special CBI court in Ranchi convicted Lalu Prasad to five years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh in the third fodder scam case lodged against him.

Besides Prasad, the court of special judge SS Prasad also convicted former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra and 48 others in the scam case related to the Chaibasa treasury from which Rs 33.13 crore were fraudulently withdrawn against the annual allotment of Rs 7.10 lakh for the year 1992-93. It acquitted six accused involved in the case.

March 19, 2018: Former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad was on March 19 found guilty in a fourth fodder scam by a CBI court in Ranchi. The case involves fraudulent withdrawals of Rs 3.76 crore from Dumka treasury, which is now in Jharkhand, between December 1995 and January 1996 when Prasad was the chief minister of Bihar.

The court, however, acquitted Jagannath Mishra, another former Bihar chief minister, and 11 others in the order that was put off twice after the arguments concluded on March 5. The quantum of punishment will be decided by the court on March 21, 22 and 23.

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 16:53 IST