Bihar fodder scam: Key facts and timeline
A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ranchi will on Saturday deliver verdict in a fodder scam case involving former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav and Jagannath Mishra.
This is the second fodder scam case against Yadav in which the verdict would be delivered.
Lalu Prasad was forced to quit the chief minister's post in 1997 when his name figured in the CBI investigations in the scam, which surfaced in 1996.
The multi-million animal husbandry department scam, popularly known as the fodder scam, accuses Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra, both former chief ministers of Bihar, and ministers from the department, two IAS officials and others, of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.37.70 crore from Chaibasa district treasury.
Altogether 61 cases were filed by the CBI in the scam, 53 of which were transferred from Bihar to Jharkhand after the bifurcation of the state in November 2000.
Here is a timeline of fodder scam
January 1996: The scam surfaces after Deputy Commissioner Amit Khare raids the offices of the Animal Husbandry Department and seizes documents that showed siphoning of funds by non-existent companies in the name of supplying fodder.
March 11, 1996: The Patna High Court directs the CBI to probe the scam. The Supreme Court upholds the order.
March 27, 1996: The CBI registers an FIR in the Chaibasa Treasury case.
June 23, 1997: The CBI files a charge sheet and makes Mr. Prasad and 55 others as accused in the case. Sixty-three cases were registered under IPC Sections 420 (forgery) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and Section 13 (b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
July 30, 1997: Prasad surrenders before a CBI court and sent to judicial custody.
April 5, 2000: Charges framed before the special CBI court. Rabri Devi's name included as co-accused. She was granted bail, Mr. Prasad's bail plea rejected and he was remanded in judicial custody.
October 5, 2001: The Supreme Court transfers the scam cases to Jharkhand after the creation of the new State.
February, 2002: Trial begins in the Ranchi special CBI court.
December 2006: Prasad and Rabri devi acquitted of charges in the disproportionate assets case filed by the CBI
June 2007: The special CBI court in Ranchi sentences 58 persons, including two nephews of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, to jail terms ranging from two-and-a-half years to six years for fraudulently withdrawing Rs. 48 crore from the Chaibasa Treasury in the 1990s.
March 2012: Six months after their appearance before the Special CBI court, charges are framed against Mr. Prasad and Mr. Mishra. The court charges the former with fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 47 lakh from the treasuries at Banka and Bhagalpur districts, where alleged forged and fake bills were drawn by the Animal Husbandry Department in 1995-96 when he was the Chief Minister.
August 13, 2013: The Supreme Court rejects Mr. Prasad's plea seeking the transfer of the trial court judge hearing the case.
September 17, 2013: The Special CBI court reserves its judgment.
September 30, 2013: Prasad and Mishra, along with 45 others are convicted by Special CBI Judge Pravas Kumar Singh. Mr. Prasad stands disqualified as member of the Lok Sabha following the verdict. The two cannot contest any election, including those of the Assembly/Council, for six years from the date of their release from jail.
November 2014: The CBI challenges the order of the Jharkhand High Court quashing four pending fodder scam cases against Mr. Prasad on the grounds that a person convicted in one case could not be tried in similar cases based on same witnesses and evidences. The court upholds the CBI plea to continue proceedings in the trial court against Mr. Prasad under two sections.
November 2016: The Supreme Court pulls up Mr. Mishra for allegedly dragging and delaying the appeal filed by the CBI challenging the quashing of four pending fodder scam cases against him.
May 2017: The Supreme Court holds that Mr. Prasad and other accused persons, including Mr. Mishra, will be tried separately for corruption in a criminal case involving the withdrawal of Rs. 84.53 lakh and falsification of records from the Deoghar Treasury in 1991-94
December 23, 2017: A special CBI court in Ranchi to pronounce the judgment in the case.
OneIndia News (with agency inputs)