The fodder scam is a set of 55 cases relating to the allegedly fraudulent withdrawals of an estimated Rs 950 crore from the state treasury between 1992 and 1995. Quantum of punishment to be pronounced on January 3.
The current case pertains to the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of 8.45 million rupees (132,000 US dollars) from a government treasury between 1994 and 1996.
The CBI's retired Joint Director (east) Upen Biswas, who had relentlessly pursued Lalu Prasad and others accused in the fodder scam, on Saturday said the case was "so strong" that the former Bihar Chief Minister as others named in the scam were certain to be punished in one case or another under it.
Senior RJD leaders Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said that the party will continue to fight the legal battle in the higher courts. The acquitted people include Mishra, former Bihar Minister Vidya Sagar Nisad and then Public Accounts Committee chairman Dhruva Bhagat. Another senior RJD leader, Abdul Bari Siddiqui, a confidant of Prasad, said it was not right to comment on a judgment but the people were discussing how it is freedom for some people and jail for others in the same case.
Soon after the court verdict in Ranchi, hundreds of RJD leaders and workers gathered outside 10, Circular Road, the official residence of Lalu Prasad's wife and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi.
Prasad must understand it was a conspiracy of the Congress as the entire fodder scam came out during its rule and the inquiry and trial were also conducted by the Congress governments, he said. Case for money laundering was also instituted. He said that the two most powerful people in the country are trying to intimidate them.
Lalu Prasad was sent to Birsa Munda Central Jail. In that case, he was sentenced to five years in jail and fined Rs 25 lakh for fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.5 crore from the Chaibasa treasury.
Or, will "coalition compulsions" bind Rahul Gandhi to forge pragmatic ties with the new crop of RJD leadership, embodied in Tejashwi Yadav, based on secular politics and history of unflinching loyalty from the RJD towards the Congress? The trial in two other cases is going on in special CBI courts of Ranchi.