Unhappy with CBI judge’s behaviour, Lalu seeks transfer of fodder scam cases

Judge Shivpal Singh refused to record the statement of witness Sunil Kumar for being produced a week before the fixed date. The judge had also questioned Kumar about his caste, Lalu’s lawyer Prabhat Kumar said.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2017 19:33 IST
Bedanti Saran
Bedanti Saran
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Lalu YAdav,Fodder scam,Nitish Kumar
A file photo of RJD Chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav arriving at CBI Court in Ranchi for a hearing related to the fodder scam.(PTI Photo)

Accusing a special CBI judge, who is hearing two fodder scam cases, of being “rude” to a defence witness, RJD chief Lalu Prasad sought the transfer of the cases on Friday.

Prasad’s lawyer Prabhat Kumar said judge Shivpal Singh had on Thursday sought to know the caste of defence witness Sunil Kumar, a DGP-rank officer posted as chief managing director of the Bihar Police Building Construction Corporation (BPBCC).

On being told that he belonged to the SC community, the judge “tore off the paper on which he was recording the officer’s statements”, Prabhat said.

The judge then refused to record Sunil Kumar’s testimony, saying he was produced a week before the fixed date of August 10, he said, adding that Prasad became apprehensive of getting a fair and impartial trial.

“We would move the Jharkhand high court seeking an order to transfer the trial of the two cases from the court of special judge Shivpal Singh to another court,” Prabhat said.

Prasad has also sought four weeks’ adjournment of the trial in the two cases which pertain to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 90 lakh and Rs 3.31 crore from Deoghar and Dumka treasuries.

Calling the judge’s behaviour rude, Prabhat also noted that Singh had ousted Prasad’s attendant Bhola Yadav from the court room.

“(Lalu) Prasad, who underwent a heart surgery last year, requires water and medicines at regular intervals. Bhola accompanies him as an attendant,” he said.

Judge Singh has ordered to record their petition, Prabhat said.

Prasad on Friday made personal appearances in four fodder scam cases which are at different stages of trial in Ranchi’s special CBI courts.

Besides the aforesaid cases, two other cases, related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 38 crore and Rs 139.39 crore from Chaibasa and Ranchi’s Doranda treasuries respectively, are being tried by two different courts presided over by different judges.

On September 30, 2013, a trial court in Ranchi had held him guilty in the first of six fodder scam cases against him, sentencing him to five years in jail, which ensued in his disqualification from Parliament and a ban on contesting elections. He was given bail by the SC in December that year.

First Published: Aug 04, 2017 19:32 IST