A special CBI court in Ranchi convicted Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad in the third fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.62 crore from the Chaibasa treasury in the 1990s.
CBI judge SS Prasad also found another former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and others guilty in the case.
Former Bihar minister Vidyasagar Nishad, ex-Bihar Assembly PAC chief Jagdish Sharma, former MLAs Dhruv Bhagat and R K Rana and three ex-IAS officers were also among the 50 persons who were convicted.
The 69-year-old Prasad is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Jail here in connection with another fodder scam case. Of the total 76 accused, 14 had died, three turned approvers, one is absconding and two others were already convicted. Out of the remaining 56 accused, two government servants and four fodder suppliers were acquitted today.
Soon after the verdict, the RJD said the special CBI court order was not final and it would appeal in the high court and, if necessary, in the Supreme Court.
Leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly and Lalu Prasad’s son Tejashwi Yadav also accused Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the BJP of framing his father.
“We have to abide by whatever is the court’s ruling. But the CBI court order is not going to be final. We will appeal in the high court and, if need be, in the Supreme Court,” Yadav said about his father’s conviction in the third fodder scam case.
On January 6, the RJD leader was sentenced to three-and- a-half years in jail and fined Rs 10 lakh by a another CBI judge in a fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.
Prasad had been convicted in the first fodder scam case involving withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury on September 30, 2013 and given five years prison term.
He faces another two scam cases for illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.97 crore from the Dumka Treasury and Rs 184 crore from the Doranda Treasury.
(With inputs from agencies)