Veteran Indian party leader convicted in old corruption case

24 December, 2017, 02:56 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • Lalu Prasad Yadav is amonf the 18 who have been convicted in the fodder scam. PTI

Judge Shivpal Singh would pronounce the sentence on January 3, the spokesman of Yadav's party, Manoj Jha, told reporters.

The current case pertains to the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of 8.45 million rupees (132,000 US dollars) from a government treasury between 1994 and 1996.

Hearing was completed on December 13 in a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court of Ranchi. While 11 of them died, three turned approvers and two others were convicted in 2006-07.

Reacting to the verdict, senior RJD leader and former Union Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the court ruling was "disappointing", but the party is "not demoralised". Mishra is one of those six who have been acquitted.

According to reports, Lalu has been taken into judicial custody and will be sent to jail along with others convicted in the case.

Lalu Prasad is among 16 people who have been convicted in the fodder scam case.

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The scam, which was exposed in 1996, pertains to embezzlement of around Rs 1,000 crore from the state exchequer for purchase of fictitious fodder and medicines for cattle between 1990 and 1997, when Lalu was the Chief Minister. The accused are facing charges under different sections of IPC and also Prevention of Corruption Act.

Five PILs (later clubbed into one) were filed by BJP leaders Sushil Modi, Ravi Shankar Prasad and Saryu Rai; former JD (U) MP and now RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tewary; and senior Congress leader Prem Chandra Mishra.

The RJD chief also claimed that he is being deliberately punished by people in the "powerful classes".

When he arrived in court on this Saturday morning, Lalu sounded confident and said he was "confident that he will get justice". "Just like BJP's propaganda was busted in the 2G scam and Adarsh scam, a similar verdict will happen now", he said.

Lalu has already been convicted in the Chaibasa treasury case and is out on bail. The trial in two other cases is going on in special CBI courts of Ranchi.

Or, will "coalition compulsions" bind Rahul Gandhi to forge pragmatic ties with the new crop of RJD leadership, embodied in Tejashwi Yadav, based on secular politics and history of unflinching loyalty from the RJD towards the Congress?

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