Ranchi: A special CBI court on Monday convicted RJD chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fourth fodder scam case but acquitted former CM Jagannath Mishra.
Judge Shuvapal Singh delivered the judgment relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from December 1995 to January 1996 from the Dumka treasury. The verdict, scheduled on March 15, was deferred four times.
The judge delivered the verdict alphabetically but Lalu — who was the CM when the wrongdoing took place — reached the court after it was delivered. Mishra was, however, present in the court.
Lalu was admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) on Saturday after he complained of constipation. His lawyer was present during the verdict.
Meanwhile, RJD saw politics behind the conviction of Lalu Prasad and acquittal of Mishra. “Ajab hai Narendra Modi aur Nitish ka mel… dubara se ho gaya Jagannath Mishra riha aur Lalu Yadav ko jail. Ek aadmi ko jail, ek aadmi ko bail, ye hai Narendra Modi ka khel,” said RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.
This is second case in which Mishra has been acquitted. Both Lalu Prasad and Mishra are facing five cases each in the fodder scam in Ranchi. There were 31 accused in this case, of which 19 were convicted and 12 acquitted.
According to Lalu Prasad's lawyer, the CBI court will pronounce the quantum of sentence later.
Earlier, the court had deferred the judgment till March 19. The court had postponed the verdict on March 15 till the next day in view of a petition being filed on behalf of Lalu seeking three officials in the office of the accountant general in the 1990s be made a party to the case, according to Lalu's counsel Prabhat Kumar.
Besides Prasad and Mishra, 29 others are accused, including former IAS and animal husbandry department officials, in the Dumka treasury case.
The 69-year-old RJD chief has been in Birsa Munda jail at Ranchi since December 23 last year after being convicted in the second fodder scam case pertaining to illegal withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deogarh treasury 21 years ago.
On January 6 this year, the CBI court judge had sentenced Prasad to three-and-a-half years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on him in the Deoghar treasury case.
The CBI court had on January 24 this year sentenced Lalu and Mishra to five years in jail in a fodder scam case in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.62 crore from the Chaibasa treasury.
In 2013, Lalu was convicted in the first fodder scam case involving withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury and sentenced to five years in jail while Mishra was given a prison term of four years.
Lalu has already been convicted in three fodder cases while Mishra was convicted in two cases.
The fifth case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 139 crore from the Doranda treasury in Ranchi is pending with the court.
The over Rs 900-crore fodder scam cases relate to illegal withdrawal of money from government treasuries in different districts of the animal husbandry department in undivided Bihar in 1990s when the RJD was in power in the state and Lalu was the chief minister.