Charged with illegal withdrawal of ₹84.5 lakh from treasury
Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad and 15 others were found guilty of corruption in a second case pertaining to the fodder scam by a special CBI court in Ranchi on Saturday.
Special judge Shivpal Singh pronounced the verdict in a packed courtroom in the case pertaining to the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of ₹84.5 lakh from Deoghar district (now in Jharkhand) treasury between 1994 and 1996 when Mr. Prasad was the Chief Minister of Bihar. The court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on January 3.
Taken into custody
Sixty-nine-year-old Mr. Prasad and other convicts were immediately taken into custody and sent to the Birsa Munda jail, where security has been tightened, CBI sources said.
Six others, including former Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra, were acquitted. In all, 22 persons were accused in the case.
The special CBI court of Justice Shivpal Singh had completed the hearing in the fodder scam case RC 64(A) / 1996 on December 13 and reserved orders.
Of the six fodder scam cases registered against Mr. Prasad, this was the second case in which judgment has been pronounced.
Mr. Prasad was held guilty in the first of the six fodder scam cases on September 30, 2013. He was sent to jail on October 3, and spent 70 days in jail before he was granted bail by the Supreme Court in December 2013.
Soon after the judgment was announced, Mr. Prasad posted a series of tweets criticising the BJP. “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 the end truth will win,” he tweeted.
He later said: “Will fight for social justice till my last breath… will die fighting but defeat the fascist forces…
“Saath har Bihari hai… akela sab par bhari hai… sach ki raksha karne ko Lalu ka sangharsh jari hai (Every Bihari is with me… all alone I’m mightier than others… Lalu’s struggle to defend truth continues).”