Former Chief Minister of the country’s northern state of Bihar, Indian politician Lalu Prasad Yadav was sentenced on Monday (February 21) to five years in the fifth fodder scam case in the multi-million dollar Doranda treasury scam.
A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Ranchi also imposed a fine of Rs 60 lakh on the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader.
The popular politician was convicted by an Indian court on February 15 along with other accused.
“Lalu Prasad has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, while a fine of Rs 60 lakh has also been imposed on him,” CBI counsel BMP Singh told news agency PTI.
“Apart from Prasad, the court had also announced punishment of five years each for five convicts, four years each for 32 convicts and three years each for three convicts,” Singh said.
In the Rs 1.39 billion fodder scam case, which is the fifth case related to the scam, an FIR was registered at Doranda police station in 1996. Later the CBI took over the matter for investigation.
Earlier, Lalu was found guilty of fodder scam in four cases. He is serving a sentence of 27.5 years in prison.
The 75-year-old was virtually produced in the court as he is in judicial custody and admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) due to ill health.
A total of 170 were accused of corruption in the case. However, 55 people have died in the years-long investigation and judicial trials. At the same time, seven witnesses turned up and two confessed their crime. Six are still absconding.
During the hearing of the case in the special CBI court, 575 people testified on behalf of the prosecution, while 35 people testified on behalf of the defendants. The investigating agency produced 15 documents in the case.
In the scam, a huge amount was illegally withdrawn in the name of transporting animals and arranging fodder for them in the Animal Husbandry Department of Bihar. Animals included bulls, buffaloes, cows, goats and sheep.
The documents submitted by the department regarding the transport were found to be fake. The vehicle numbers shown in the documents were of scooters, mopeds and motorcycles.
The cases occurred during the period 1990-1996. Bihar CAG had repeatedly sent information about corruption to the government, but the government did not pay attention to it.
(with inputs from agencies)