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The Fodder scam case: A timeline of events leading up Lalu Prasad’s fresh trial

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-05-2017 Livemint

New Delhi: Lalu Prasad Yadav will face a separate trial in the 1996 fodder scam related case after the Supreme Court on Monday ordered that the former Bihar chief minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader will face charges for criminal conspiracy and fraud in a fresh trial.

The apex court bench comprising justices Amitava Roy and P.C. Ghose also directed the state to conclude trial within 9 months.The apex court set aside a ruling of the Jharkhand high court that dropped certain charges on the grounds that a person once convicted or acquitted cannot to be tried for the same offence again. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had appealed against the high court ruling.

The charges are in connection with the case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs96 lakh during Prasad’s chief ministerial tenure.

The fodder scam relates to fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs1,000 crore by the animal husbandry department from various districts during Prasad’s tenure as Bihar chief minister from 1990 to 1997.

Apart from Prasad, former chief minister Jagannath Mishra and a former senior bureaucrat Sajal Chakraborty will also face trial again.

Here is a timeline of events leading up to today’s court order.

■ 8 May 2017: The Supreme Court reinstates criminal conspiracy charges against him.

■ November 2014: The Jharkhand High Court drops the conspiracy charge against Yadav in another case related to the fodder scam, on the grounds that a person cannot be tried twice for the same offence.

■ December 2013: Yadav gets bail.

■ 30 September 2013: CBI court in Ranchi convicts Lalu Prasad in the fodder case that disqualifies him from Parliament and renders him ineligible to contest elections for at least six years.

Forty-four others, including former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra, six politicians and four IAS officers, are also convicted for fraudulent withdrawal of Rs37.7 crore from Chaibasa treasury.

■ 13 August 2013: Supreme Court refuses to transfer the case from the Ranchi court.

■ 17 December 2012: The special CBI court frames charges against Lalu Prasad in fodder case, over the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.3.13 crore from Dumka treasury between December 1995 and January 1996.

■ 18 December 2006: Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi given a clean chit in disproportionate assets case by a special CBI court.

■ November 2001: Lalu Prasad surrenders in Ranchi.

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■ October 2001: Supreme Court transfers cases to Jharkhand with the creation of the new state.

■ 9 June 2000: Charges framed against Lalu Prasad in court.

■ 5 April 2000: Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi surrender. Rabri Devi gets bail.

■ April 2000: Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi charged in the case.

■ August 1998: A case of disproportionate assets registered against both Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi.

■ 12 December 1997: Lalu Prasad released on bail after 135 days in judicial custody.

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■ 30 July 1997: Lalu Prasad surrenders before the CBI court.

■ 29 July 1997: Supreme Court denies bail to Lalu Prasad.

■ 25 July 1997: Lalu Prasad, anticipating CBI indictment, steps down and names wife Rabri Devi, who has no political experience, as chief minister.

■ 21 June 1997: In a major embarrassment to the RJD, CBI conducts raids at Lalu Prasad’s residence.

■ 17 June 1997: Governor A.R. Kidwai grants permission to prosecute chief minister Lalu Prasad and others in the case.

■ 11 March 1996: Patna high court orders CBI to probe the alleged irregularities. Supreme Court upholds high court order.

■ 27 January 1996: Report on fodder scam appears, alleging crores of rupees have been siphoned off from government treasury in the name of non-existing companies for supply of fodder in districts like Chaibasa.

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