Fodder scam: Charges filed against Lalu, Mishra
A CBI special court on Thursday framed charges against former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra in the 16-year-old fodder scam case, which cost Prasad his CMship in 1997.
Also, former and current MPs are among 31 others who have been implicated. Trial will start on April 2.
The case relates to allegedly fraudulent withdrawals of around Rs 46 lakh by officials of the state animal husbandry department from the Banka and Bhagalpur treasuries between 1988 and 1996-97.
Prasad, who served as CM from March 1990 to July 1997, was present in the court, along with Mishra and others, when the charges were being framed.
Prasad alleged he had been falsely implicated in the case and the CBI had not procured the governor's sanction for prosecution in the case.
"I have been implicated by the then central government, which wanted to topple my duly elected government in Bihar. Still, I have faith in the judiciary. Justice will finally be done and I am ready to go through the legal provisions," he added.
Mishra, who had been Bihar chief minister thrice, the last time being in 1989-90, said: "How can one person be an accused on the same charges in more than one case? This is not in keeping with the constitutional provisions."
The CBI had registered the case on May 15, 1996. Later, the agency filed the chargesheet on March 31, 2003. There are 42 accused and 268 witnesses in the case. Seven of the accused have died.
The judge issued non-bailable warrants against two others - Dhruv Bhagat and AK Singh - as they did not appear in the court till evening. Both have been directed to appear in court on March 15.