HC breather for Lalu Prasad in fodder scam
The Jharkhand high court on Friday quashed all major charges against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad in one of six cases related to the infamous fodder scam, his lawyer said.india Updated: Nov 14, 2014 23:10 IST
The Jharkhand high court on Friday quashed all major charges against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad in one of six cases related to the infamous fodder scam, his lawyer said.
Prasad was convicted and sentenced to five years' imprisonment in another fodder case in October last year. He is out on bail in that case pending trial in a higher court.
Friday's relief for Prasad came in a case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 90 lakh from the Deoghar treasury that involved 27 accused, including five politicians.
The case, RC 64 (A)/96, was being heard by a special CBI court in Ranchi. Prasad had appealed against it in the high court.
The former Bihar chief minister had pleaded that he had already been convicted in one of the cases and that the charges laid against him in all six cases were of a similar nature. He argued that the CBI levelled the same set of allegations against him in all these cases and that it was banking on the same set of evidences to prove these charges.
He contended that one could not be tried multiple times for the same offence.
Responding to Prasad's petition, the bench of Justice RR Prasad quashed all sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act under which he had already been convicted.
It, however, observed that the trial in the case should proceed on charges relating to causing the disappearance of evidence and giving false information to protect offenders.
Prasad's counsel Prabhat Kumar said, "(The) court's order came as a breather for Prasad as he would now have to face trial only under two sections in which the CBI has no direct or indirect evidences."
In another petition in which Prasad challenged the validity of yet another case connected with the fodder scam on the same ground, the high court sought a reply from the CBI by November 28, the next date of hearing.