In a major blow to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), its chief Lalu Prasad was found guilty in one of the four pending fodder cases. The quantum of punishment will be pronounced on January 3. Special CBI judge Shivpal Singh pronounced the verdict in a packed courtroom, reported PTI.
Lalu was among the 15 of the 22 accused found guilty by a special CBI court in Ranchi for the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 84.5 lakh from the Deoghar district treasury between 1994 and 1996.
The convicts, including the RJD chief, were taken into custody immediately after the pronouncement of the verdict.
Seven of the accused, including former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra, were acquitted, reported ANI.
“We trust and respect the judiciary. We will not let BJP’s conspiracies work. The way things happened in the 2G case, they way they happened for Ashok Chavan, the same will happen for me,” Lalu said before the verdict.
The RJD chief faced five cases in the fodder scam, of which now three are pending. He had been sentenced to five years in jail and fined Rs 25 lakh for the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.5 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in October 2013, but was granted bail by the Supreme Court in December 2013.
In 2014, the Jharkhand high court had stayed the trial against the former Bihar chief minister in four of the pending cases saying that a person convicted in one case could not be tried in similar cases based on same witnesses and evidence. The order, however, was quashed by the apex court, which ordered Lalu to stand trial in all pending fodder scam cases in which he was an accused.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha tweeted about lalu’s conviction in the fodder case
Hope wish & pray that the friend of the nation, hero of masses & favorite of downtrodden, one & only one Lalu Yadav gets the most desired & deserving justice. Satyamev Jayate??!!. God Bless!
— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) December 23, 2017