Fodder scam verdict on Dec 23 will decide Lalu's fate

Fodder scam verdict on Dec 23 will decide Lalu's fate

More trouble appears to be brewing for RJD president Lalu Prasad as the special CBI court in Ranchi, hearing the fodder scam cases, will pronounce its verdict on December 23.

The CBI judge Shivpal Singh will deliver the verdict in one of the six cases registered against Lalu. This case RC 64A/96 is related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 90 lakh from Deogarh treasury, in which apart from Lalu, former chief minister Dr Jagannath Mishra is also an accused.

As Lalu, Mishra and other accused have been asked to remain in the court on Saturday - the day of judgement, the RJD chief said he had full faith in judiciary and hoped to get relief.

This case has reached its conclusion 21 years after the scam was unearthed. Lalu was earlier convicted and jailed in another fodder scam case on September 13, 2013 after the judge found him guilty. The conviction got him five years' imprisonment, disqualification from Lok Sabha (he was then sitting MP from Saran) and a ban on contesting elections for six years after his jail term ends.

However, the Supreme Court granted him bail in December 2013. A trial against Lalu was revived this year after the apex court restored corruption charges, and, on May 8, asked the CBI court to complete hearing within nine months.

As many as 38 people were named accused in the case. However, 11 died during trial, two became approvers and two others pleaded guilty.

The verdict on December 23 may change the dynamics of Bihar politics as the JD (U) and the BJP have already predicted that the fate of the RJD was doomed as its party chief faced an imminent incarceration.

However, Lalu put up a brave front and said both Nitish and the BJP have been trying hard to send him to jail. "But I won't be cowed down. No body can finish Lalu. My party will run even in my absence. The more the BJP and Nitish will attack me, the more my vote-bank will increase," said Lalu, adding that "My fight against communal and fascist forces will continue."

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