New Delhi, Sep 30 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday welcomed the judgement of a CBI designated court to hold former Bihar Chief Ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Dr. Jagannath Mishra guilty of corruption in a fodder scam case, and said this historic verdict is a justice day for the state presently ruled by the Janata Dal (United).
BJP General Secretary Rajiv Pratap Rudy, while reacting to the verdict, said it is a judgement related to the Fodder Scam in which loot, a scam of more than 5,000 crores was discovered in the state of undivided Bihar when Bihar and Jharkhand was together.
"And the name of two former chief ministers of Bihar figured in it prominently. The first name was of Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was the chief minister of Bihar for more than ten years from the Rashtriya Janata Dal. And the second name was of Dr. Jagannath Mishra, who was the chief minister of Bihar for a long tenure from the Congress Party. In fact, both these chief ministers owe their allegiance one directly to the Congress Party and the other as a part of the UPA in the previous government and at present too that is Lalu Prasad Yadav," said Rudy.
"It is a judgement for Bihar; it's a justice day for Bihar. It's not only a judgement for Bihar, but it is a justice day for Bihar. It is a justice day for the country against corrupt politicising," he added.
A CBI designated court in Ranchi earlier in the day declared Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav guilty in a case related to the Rs. 950 crore fodder scam. Former chief minister Jagannath Mishra was also convicted in this case.
The judgement is a major blow for Yadav, who faces immediate disqualification as a Member of Parliament and won't be allowed to contest elections for six years. The court said that it will announce the sentence on the RJD supremo on October 3.
The verdict has come at a time when the ruling UPA Government and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are locked in a war of words pertaining the ordinance with regard to convicted politicians.
Yadav moved the Jharkhand High Court and later the Supreme Court, seeking change of the judge in the case. Both the courts dismissed his petition, and directed him to complete argument in the case before the CBI court.
Yadav had in his petition alleged that trial court judge P K Singh was biased against him as he is a relative of P K Shahi, Education Minister in the Nitish Kumar Government in Bihar, "who is his (Yadav"s) biggest political enemy".
The case pertains to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa Treasury in the 1990s. The FIR was lodged by Bihar government in February 1996 but the case was transferred to CBI a month later.
CBI had investigated the scam for a year and the charge sheet was filed in 1997. The charges were framed in 2000 following which the Special CBI court commenced trial against Lalu Yadav and 44 other accused.
RJD's plea had faced stiff opposition from JD-U leader Rajiv Ranjan who submitted that it would be a 'travesty of justice' if the judge is transferred at the far end of the trial.
He submitted that it would give a wrong impression to the entire country if the judge is transferred and raised a question on RJD supremo's petition seeking transfer of the judge who has been hearing the case since 2011.
The fodder scam also known as "Chara Ghotala" involved the siphoning of funds from the Bihar Government treasury. The alleged theft spanned over several years, and many Bihar state government administrative and elected officials across multiple administrations were allegedly engaged in it.
Additionally, there are also allegations that they were involved in the fabrication of "vast herds of fictitious livestock" for which fodder, medicines and animal husbandry equipment was supposedly procured.
The fodder scam was unearthed in Bihar in 1996 when Lalu Prasad was the Chief Minister of the state. He had resigned from the post in 1997 after a court issued an arrest warrant against him in connection with one of the cases. (ANI)