Lalu Prasad, the maverick Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo and former Bihar chief minister, and 44 others has been convicted by a special Central Bureau of India (CBI) court in Ranchi in the one of the cases – RC 20 A/96 – of the multi-crore fodder scam on Monday.
Lalu, who ruled Bihar for 15 years, has been convicted by special CBI judge Pravas Kumar Singh and faces immediate disqualification as a Lok Sabha MP and his political future is in jeopardy. Lalu was one of the 45 people facing charges in the RC 20 A/96 case and had been charged with fraudulent withdrawing Rs 37.7 crore on fake fodder bills from Chaibasa treasury in the 1990s. Chaibasa was then part of undivided Bihar and is now in Jharkhand.
There were a total of 56 accused in the case. But during the trial, seven accused died, two turned approver, one admitted to the crime and one was discharged. Lalu and Jagannath Mishra are accused in a total of five fodder scam cases.
Lalu quit as Bihar chief minister on July 25, 1997 when his name figured in the CBI investigations in the scam, which surfaced in 1996.
After stepping down he rather surprising pulled his wife Rabri Devi from the “chowka” (kitchen) and made her the chief minister and continued to rule through proxy.