M A I N   N E W S

Laloo charge-sheeted
69 others also charged in fodder scam

Ranchi, April 25
A special CBI court today framed charges against Railway Minister and RJD President Laloo Prasad Yadav in a fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37 crore from Chaibasa treasury in 1996.

Besides Prasad, charges were also framed against former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra and 68 others under various IPC sections, including 420 (cheating), 120 B (criminal conspiracy).

Prasad, Mishra and 68 other accused were present when the sections were read out in the special court of CBI Judge IV (CBI animal husbandry scam cases) Uma Shankar Prasad Sinha.

Prasad, who was the Chief Minister of Bihar when the scam surfaced, also appeared in another CBI court in a separate fodder scam case.

Both Prasad and Mishra pleaded innocent.

Their lawyers said they would move the Jharkhand High Court against the CBI court’s framing of charges which set in motion trial of the case.

The scam surfaced in 1996. The Patna High Court had directed the cases be handed over to the CBI. After Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000, 39 of the 61 cases were transferred to the new state. Laloo Prasad appealed against this in the Supreme Court, which rejected his contention.

Laloo Prasad is accused in five cases. He resigned as Bihar Chief Minister in 1997 after a court issued a warrant in one of the cases.

Laloo Prasad appeared in the Ranchi court on Monday at 8.45 a.m. since the court had rejected his petition seeking exemption from personal appearance. He did not speak to reporters.

“We had moved the discharge petition which was rejected by the court. Now we will move the Jharkhand High Court against the order,” said Laloo Prasad’s counsel Chitranjan Sinha.

The charges were framed under Sections 420 and 120 (b) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13 (b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Charges were also framed against former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, former MP Rajo Singh, former Bihar Animal Husbandry Minister Vidyasagar Nishad, former Central Minister Chandradeo Prasad Verma, four bureaucrats of the Indian Administrative Service, veterinary doctors and other government officials. There are 20 truckloads of documents in the case. — PTI, IANS, UNI


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