CBI director wants to drop charges against Lalu in fodder scam

Ranjit Sinha differs with DOP, other officials

CBI director wants to drop charges against Lalu in fodder scam

In a controversial move, CBI Director Ranjit Sinha wanted to drop charges against RJD chief Lalu Prasad in three pending cases, which are an offshoot of the infamous fodder scam.

Prasad is convicted in one of the fodder scam cases. Sinha was Director General of Railway Protection Force when Prasad was Railway Minister.

In his note, Sinha recommended that the charges against Yadav be dropped, differing with Director of Prosecution (DOP) O P Verma and senior officers of the Patna Branch of the CBI.

The matter has now been referred to the Solicitor General on the “specific request” of the CBI chief, though the Attorney General has to be consulted if the CBI director and the DoP disagree on a case.

“(Most of) the evidence in the case and most of the accused persons are common, including the ingredients of charges in the said cases. I am of the view that a person may not be tried for the same offences in another case for which he has already been convicted when the evidence is the same.

“I disagree with the Branch, HOZ and DOP. Since I do not agree with the DOP, let the matter be referred to the Solicitor General for his opinion on the legal issues raised in the petitions in all the three RCs referred to in the comments of DOP,” he had said last month.

The cases in which Sinha recommended dropping of charges against Prasad are connected with the alleged illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from Dumka Treasury during December 1995 and January 1996, Rs 84.53 lakh from Deoghar Treasury between 1990 and 1994 and Rs 33.13 crore from Chaibasa Treasury during December 1992.

The CBI chief said the views of the CBI branch officers and the Joint Director are not consistent with the observations made in an appeal filed in a Jharkhand court wherein the court said, “it does appear that the appellant has been proceeded with in this case also on the same charge and ingredients of the charges also appear to be same”.

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