Lalu and Mishra appear in CBI court on fodder scam case

Lalu and Mishra appear in CBI court on fodder scam case

Two former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad  and Jagannath Mishra appeared in a CBI court in Ranchi Tuesday to record their statements in a case related to the multi-million rupee fodder scam in which funds meant for buying cattle feed were embezzled in undivided Bihar.

Lalu Prasad arrived under heavy security cover around 11 a.m.  The statements of both Lalu and Mishra will be recorded in the CBI special court of Judge P.K. Singh.

Lalu appeared in one of the 61 fodder scam cases - RC 20 A/96 -  which is related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.37 crore from the Chaibasa district treasury. There were 330 witnesses in the case and their statements have been recorded.

There are 46 accused in the case, including Lalu Prasad and Mishra. The recording of their statements began Monday and it will continue till Wednesday.

On Monday, a total of ten accused recorded their statements. Among them were Jagdish Sharma, a Lok Sabha member from Jahanabad in Bihar, former Indian Administrative Service officers Julius Beck, Mahendra Prasad and Phul Chandra Singh, and animal husbandry department officers K.M. Prasad and S.N. Sharma.

Lalu Prasad and Mishra are accused in five cases related to the scam. Their trial is going on in the Ranchi CBI courts. Lalu Prasad had to quit the Bihar chief minister's post in 1997 after an arrest warrant was issued against him.

The fodder scam hit the headlines in the late 1990s in Bihar, where officials and politicians were accused of illegally withdrawing crores of rupees of public money on the pretext of purchasing cattle fodder.

A total of 61 cases were filed in the scam and 53 were transferred to Jharkhand after it was carved out from Bihar in 2000.

Various CBI special courts in Ranchi have passed judgments in 40 cases.