Fodder scam: After SC jolt, BJP says ‘no escape for Lalu now’

New Delhi: Hailing the Supreme Court’s verdict of reviving criminal conspiracy charges against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the fodder scam, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said the ruling had ensured that there was no escape for him now.

“The SC has ordered a separate trial for criminal conspiracy charges against Lalu in fodder scam. The apex court also ordered to complete the trial within nine months. This has come as a major blow to Lalu. I am confident that Lalu will certainly get punishment in the case,” BJP leader Sushil Modi told ANI.

The BJP leader further said that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar must be happy with the judgment as ‘the more Lalu gets embroiled into such legal charges the less he would interfere in Bihar government.’

In a major setback to Lalu, the apex court today revived the criminal conspiracy charges against the former Bihar chief minister and others in the fodder scam case.

The two-judge bench also ruled that the trail has to be completed within nine months.

The apex court allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s plea challenging the Jharkhand High Court’s order of dropping charges against Lalu in the case.

In 2014, the Jharkhand High Court had given relief to the RJD supremo and others by dropping charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and prevention of corruption in the fodder scam.

Around 53 cases were registered for embezzlement of funds on the pretext of buying fodder for cattle.

The high court had quashed the cases on the grounds that a person convicted in one case could not be tried in similar cases based on same witnesses and evidences.

However, the CBI had contended that though the cases have arisen from the fodder scam, they are different in nature as different amounts were involved from different treasuries.

The apex court earlier on April 20 reserved its judgment in the case and asked all parties concerned to give their submissions within a week.

The court also heard the plea filed by RJD supremo challenging his jail sentence in connection the case.

The fodder scam relates to fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs. 1,000 crore by the Animal Husbandry department from various districts when Lalu was the Bihar chief minister from 1990 to 1997. (ANI)