Troubles have not ended for Lalu Prasad Yadav yet as another fodder scam case inches closer to judgement day. A special CBI court in Ranchi, which is hearing one of the four cases of the two decades old fodder scam, is likely to pronounce its judgement on January 24.
In the case, which pertains to fraudulent withdrawals worth Rs 37 crore by the Bihar animal husbandry department from Chaibasa district treasury (now in Jharkhand) in the erstwhile united Bihar, Yadav is an accused along with 29 others. He has been charged with cheating, criminal conspiracy, corruption and abuse of office as public servant in the case.
Yadav attended the court hearing of special CBI judge SS Prasad through video-conferencing from Ranchi's Birsa Munda jail, where he is serving a 3.5-year imprisonment term since January 6 in another fodder scam case.
"The court heard the arguments of the CBI counsel in this case and scheduled January 24 for announcing its judgement," Yadav's advocate Prabhat Kumar said.
On January 6, another special CBI court in Ranchi had sentenced Yadav to 3.5 years imprisonment and fined him Rs 10 lakh after holding him guilty in a case of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar treasury.
The former Bihar CM, who was convicted in the case on December 23 before being sentenced on January 6, has spent nearly a fortnight in the prison here. Leaders and supporters of Rashtriya Janata Dal are camping in Ranchi to lend moral support to their president and gathering outside the jail each morning. The 69 year old is yet to move Jharkhand High Court for bail.
"Sir, Makar Sankranti is round the corner. How would I eat Chura Dahi in jail," Yadav told the judge in a lighter vein. Singh, who sentenced him to jail in the Deoghar case, told Yadav that he will direct the jail authority to make suitable arrangements in this regard, those present in the courtroom said.