In a major setback for Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Supreme Court on Monday ruled that he and other accused will have to face a separate trial in Rs 900 crore fodder scam. The Supreme Court pronounced its order after a plea was filed by the CBI opposing the dropping of charges against RJD chief by the Jharkhand High Court. The senior RJD leader will now have to face a separate trial in link with the mid-1990s fodder scam case.
Earlier, the Jharkhand High Court gave relief to the former Bihar CM and others in the case by dropping charges including criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and prevention of corruption in 2014. The court had put down the cases saying that a person convicted in one case could not be tried in similar cases.
However, the CBI had opposed the order claiming that though the cases are linked with fodder scam, the amounts that were misused belonged to various treasuries. The SC had heard arguments by Yadav’s lawyer Ram Jethmalani and the CBI had reserved its order on April 20.
Prasad had been charged in several cases linked to the scam, in which Rs 900 crores were misused from the state exchequer for false medicines and food for cattle over a period of two decades. The matter came to the light in 1996.
Yadav was convicted in one of the cases – on charges of misusing Rs 37 crore in October 2013. But, he received bail in December 2013 from the SC. More than 50 cases were filed for misappropriation of funds on the pretext of buying fodder for cattle and others.