Lalu pleads for transfer of fodder scam case

RJD president is apprehensive of not getting justice

Lalu pleads for transfer of fodder scam case

Ahead of the crucial verdict in the fodder scam, in which two former chief ministers Lalu Prasad and  Jagannath Mishra are accused, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president has expressed his apprehension of not getting justice as the CBI judge is a relative of a Janata Dal-United minister in the Nitish government.

Lalu has, therefore, moved the Jharkhand High Court with the plea that the case be transferred from the court of CBI judge PK Singh to some other court. In his petition, Lalu has said that the judge is a close relative of Education Minister in Bihar PK Sahi, who had unsuccessfully contested the Lok Sabha bypoll in Maharajganj recently where the RJD candidate Prabhunath Singh trounced him with a huge margin. Expressing doubts that the judgment will not be fair, Lalu has also pleaded that before becoming a minister, Sahi was Advocate General of Bihar and had appeared on behalf of Lallan Singh, the petitioner in the fodder scam, in Patna High Court, Jharkhand High Court and the Supreme Court. 

“Since Sahi is now political opponent of Lalu, he would like Lalu’s conviction in the case. We have, therefore, requested the high court to stay lower court’s proceedings till the final disposal of the transfer petition,” said advocate Prabhat Kumar, representing the RJD president.

The High Court has decided to take up the hearing of Lalu’s petition, seeking transfer of case, on June 28.

Earlier, the CBI court had fixed July 15 as the date for the pronouncement of the verdict in the much-publicised fodder scam, which came to light in 1996 involving embezzlement of fund to the tune of Rs 900 crore. Out of the 53 fodder scam case, judgments have been delivered in 44 cases leading to conviction of the accused. In the remaining nine cases, Lalu is accused in five, which are under different stages of trial.

On July 15, the CBI judge is slated to pronounce judgment in the case – RC 20 A/96 pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.70 crore from the Chaibasa treasury. The accused include two former chief ministers, six retired IAS officers, one MP and 33 others. It was alleged that the accused, including Animal Husbandry Department officials, in connivance with the suppliers, cheated department by making supply of fodder, medicine and other articles only on paper. The politicians and bureaucrats were alleged to have received kickbacks, who, in turn, protected scamsters.

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