By Anirudh Singla
With December turning out to be quite interesting for scam cases embroiled in controversy, after the 2G Scam verdict, we have the Fodder Scam verdict out and dry. Lalu Prasad Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) along with 15 others has been found guilty in the case. The verdict was pronounced in a special CBI court in Ranchi by CBI judge Shivpal Singh after the case had stretched for too long.
The case pertained to a fraudulent withdrawal from the Deogarh Treasury during 1991 and 1994, amounting to Rs. 89.27 lakh. Interestingly, as 16 persons were found guilty, six others were acquitted in the case. Among those acquitted were, former Bihar minister Vidya Sagar Nisad and the then Public Accounts Committee chairman Dhruva Bhagat.
The snubbed clique
With political leaders like RK Rana and Jagdish Sharma, government officials Subir Bhattacharya and Krishna Kumar, IAS officers Mahesh Prasad, Beck Julius and Phoolchand Singh being convicted along with Lalu Prasad Yadav, this decision is among the key highlights of all prominent case verdicts in 2017. The RJD Supremo along with the other convicts were taken into police custody and sent to the Birsa Munda Central Jail amidst protests by RJD workers where they are cited to stay imprisoned till 3 January 2018 until the quantum of punishment is adequately announced.
It is reportedly said that all properties of Lalu Prasad Yadav after 1990 will be attached alongside by CBI. The RJD has sternly refused the verdict and has alleged a “clear bias” against the RJD Supremo. It has cited that they will approach the higher court to seek justice with RJD leader Manoj Jha saying that, “You are convicting the person who has helped expose the scam. It is a tragedy of errors. This is a clear bias against Lalu.” In a pretty evident jibe, Jha maintained that the “caged parrot” (the CBI ) has been abjectly told to counter political rivals by the Bharatiya Janata Party and that the BJP Headquarters in Delhi were a “washing machine” that condoned the guilty if they “bowed” before them. Among the senior RJD leaders, close confidant Abdul Bari Siddique was quoted saying, “The layman is asking why it is jail for some and freedom for others? It is baffling how BJP and JD(U) had predicted the verdict. This has created confusion among the people also. He (Lalu) had been sent to jail on earlier occasions and each time RJD bounced back with double the strength. That is why we are still number one in Bihar.”
Celebration for some
While the Congress was quick to oppose Nitish Kumar’s government, BJP was in a sense of innate jubilation. Union Minister JP Nadda was quoted saying, “It has been proved that Lalu indulged in corruption and the decision has been given by the court. How does BJP figure in it? It is the alliance between Congress and Lalu’s party when all such actions have taken place. Over three years after it was ousted from power, we still see one case after another coming out and courts are indicting and convicting them. So, this itself speaks of the deeds done by them.”
These are interesting political times, with justice quashing upon those who tried to escape it through immoral means. Let’s wait for the quantum of the punishment to come out on January 3 and observe RJD’s next step.
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