Lalu Prasad convicted in fodder scam, sentencing on January 3

Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was on Saturday convicted in fodder scam by a special CBI court in Ranchi. The court will announce the sentencing on January 3, 2018.

After the verdict, Lalu was immediately taken into custody.

Special CBI judge Shivapal Singh acquitted former chief minister Jagannath Mishra as well as six others in the case. However, fourteen were found guilty by the court.

The case relates to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from Deoghar district treasury.

Meanwhile, reacting to his conviction, Lalu said that he is not alone in his fight for what is right. “Lalu is not alone in this dharma yudh, entire Bihar stands together,” he tweeted.

“Truth can be made to appear as a lie, as ambiguous or a half lie by concerted onslaught of bias driven propaganda. But blurred layer of bias and hatred will still be removed, come what may! In end Truth will win. A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. ….But still prevails…In the end though,” Lalu tweeted.

The RJD chief also claimed that he is being deliberately punished by people in the ‘powerful classes’. “Powerful people and powerful classes always managed to divide society into ruling and the ruled classes. And whenever anyone from the lower hierarchy challenged this unjust order, they would be deliberately punished,” he said.

“Had people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Baba Saheb Ambedkar failed in their efforts, history would have treated them as villains. They still are villains for the biased, racist and caste-ist minds. No one should expect any different treatment,” he added.

In October 2013, when he was first convicted in a related fodder scam case, he had to spend two months in jail before he got bail from the Supreme Court.

In this case, Lalu Yadav faces accusations that as the chief minister and finance minister back in the nineties, he kept the file for an inquiry against the mastermind of the scam pending for 16 months and gave three other officials extensions despite objections from bureaucrats.

Lalu was aware of the scam but allowed the loot to continue by his inaction, the CBI had alleged.

The hearing in the case concluded on December 13 and all accused were asked to remain present in court for the judgement.

Earlier, Lalu Prasad was convicted and sentenced to five-year imprisonment in one of the five cases for which he is being tried in the fodder scam.

In 2014, the Jharkhand High Court had given relief to the former Bihar Chief Minister and others by dropping charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and prevention of corruption.

The court had quashed the cases on the grounds that a person convicted in one case could not be tried in similar cases based on same witnesses and evidence.

In May 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that Lalu Yadav will have to stand trial in all the fodder scam cases, setting aside the high court order that dropped cases charges against the former Bihar chief minister.

The former chief minister of Bihar had been charged in several cases related to the scam, in which Rs. 900 crore were embezzled from the state exchequer for fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle over a period of 20 years.

The CBI began probing the case in 1996.

Over 50 cases were registered for embezzlement of funds on the pretext of buying fodder for cattle, among others.