Fodder scam: CBI expects verdict in Deoghar treasury case in 3 months
The apex court on Monday reinstated criminal conspiracy charge against Lalu Prasad in a fodder scam case RC 64 (A)/96 related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 90 lakh from Jharkhand’s Deoghar treasury and asked the CBI to complete the trial within a period of nine monthsranchi Updated: May 09, 2017 18:55 IST
Former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra may soon land in fresh trouble after the Supreme Court’s verdict reinstating trial of four pending fodder scam cases against them. Trial in one of these four cases has reached at final argument stage and the CBI is expecting judgment in three months.
The apex court on Monday reinstated criminal conspiracy charge against Prasad in a fodder scam case RC 64 (A)/96 related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 90 lakh from Jharkhand’s Deoghar treasury and asked the CBI to complete the trial within a period of nine months.
A senior CBI official, monitoring the fodder scam cases in Ranchi, said that the trial of the aforesaid case involving 27 accused including five politicians and four former IAS officers was running at final argument stage and the judgment is expected within three month.
“Prasad and Mishra, who were accused in the said case, had faced the trial proceedings till November 2014 when the high court dropped the proceedings against them. The trial with respect to other 25 accused, however, continued and it now reached at a final stage,” CBI official said.
“We will now resume the trial proceedings with regard to Prasad and Mishra from where we had left. We will soon expedite the process so that judgment may come at the expected time frame,” he said.
However, lawyers engaged in defense side feel that it would not be a cakewalk for the CBI. “Prasad and Mishra will naturally urge the court to recall the prosecution witnesses again so that their lawyers can cross examine them. This would consume much time and therefore chances of judgment in couple of months is bleak,” they said.
The CBI in 1996 had booked Prasad in six fodder scam cases related to fraudulent withdrawal of animal husbandry department (AHD) funds from different government treasuries during 1990-1995.
Prasad, who was convicted on September 30, 2013 and sentenced to five years of imprisonment in one of the six fodder scam cases, had challenged the remaining five pending cases on the ground that the CBI levelled same allegations in all six cases lodged against him and was banking on the same set of evidences to prove the allegations. He contended that no one should be put on peril twice for the same offence citing a constitutional provision.
The Jharkhand high court on November 14, 2014, had decided the issue with regard to the above fodder scam case RC 64 (A)/96. It had quashed all major Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act under which he had already been convicted. It, however, ruled that trail against Prasad would only proceed under two Sections, which came as major relieve to Prasad. But, the Supreme Court on Monday quashed the HC order.
Cases in which Prasad and Mishra will be put to trial
• RC 64 (A)/96 (related to fake withdrawal of Rs 90 lakh from Deoghar treasury)
• RC 68 (A)/96 (fake withdrawal of Rs 33.61 crore from Chaibasa treasury)
• RC 47 (A)/96 (fake withdrawal of Rs 139.39 crore from Doranda treasury, Ranchi)
• RC 38 (A)/96 (fake withdrawal of Rs 3.31 crore from Dumka Treasury)
First Published: May 09, 2017 18:55 IST