Lalu pleads innocence, says there was no evidence

Lalu pleads innocence, says there was no evidence

Shortly after the quantum of punishment was announced, convicted Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad pleaded innocence and said he had been sentenced to five-year jail even though there was no substantial evidence of his direct involvement in the case.

In his first reaction after the CBI court verdict, which was pronounced through video-conferencing, Lalu Prasad reportedly said, “My apprehension about you (judge) has come true… Even though I was a whistle-blower, I was made an accused in the case. And now you have punished me despite my no involvement.”

In July this year, Lalu Prasad had sought transfer of fodder scam case (RC 20 A/96) from the CBI court to another special court. He pleaded that since the CBI judge P K Singh was a relative of the JD (U) minister P K Sahi in Bihar, he (Lalu) may not get justice.

But his arguments were eventually dismissed by the Supreme Court in August.
The much-publicised fodder scam came to light in 1996 involving embezzlement of funds to the tune of Rs 950 crore.

Out of the 53 fodder scam cases, judgments have been delivered in 45 cases leading to conviction of the accused.

In the remaining eight cases, Lalu is accused in four, which are under different stages of trial. This include fraudulent withdrawal of money from Dumka treasury (Rs 3.31 crore), Chaibasa treasury (Rs 33.61 cr) Deogarh treasury (Rs 90 lakh) and Ranchi’s Doranda treasury (Rs 139.9 cr).

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