CBI, Bihar govt clash in Lalu disproportionate assets case

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New Delhi, Oct 31 (UNI) CBI and Nitish Kumar government in Bihar have taken sharply divergent positions in the Supreme Court in the disproportionate assets case involving Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi.

Earlier, the CBI had decided not to file an appeal against the trial court order acquitting Mr Lalu Prasad and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi in disproportionate assets case.

Bihar government, however, challenged the acquittal order in Patna High Court and High Court admitted the state government appeal for hearing.

Mr Lalu Prasad filed an application in High Court challenging the locus standi of the state government to appeal against the acquittal order.

High Court, however, dismissed the application of Mr Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi.

Both husband and wife have moved the Supreme Court against the High Court order.

Yesterday, CBI also approached the Supreme Court challenging the competence of the state government to file an appeal in a case in which CBI was the investigating agency.

The CBI has contended in its petition that under Section 378 CrPC only CBI can challenge an order of discharge or acquittal in a case in which the CBI is the prosecuting agency.

Mr Lalu Prasad and Rabri are facing allegations of acquiring assets worth Rs 45 lakhs through corrupt means in fodder scam case.

The political rivalry between Mr Nitish Kumar and RJD supremo Lalu Prasad has now apparently reached the apex court.

Nitish Kumar wants to continue with the prosecution of Mr Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi while the UPA government at the Centre wants to shield its political ally.

The investigation was transferred to CBI under the court's order on the allegations that free and fair investigation in the fodder scam was not possible due to the involvement of influential leaders in the state.

UNI

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