A special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Jharkhand’s Ranchi city on Tuesday convicted Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in the Rs 139.35-crore Doranda treasury case in the fodder scam, NDTV reported.
Yadav, who is currently out on bail, will be moved to Ranchi’s Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, the court directed. His counsel had filed an appeal on the grounds of his poor health.
The alleged fodder scam, exposed in 1996, pertains to the embezzlement of around Rs 1,000 crore from the state exchequer for the purchase of fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle. Yadav was the chief minister of the state at the time.
Yadav has already been convicted in four other cases related to the scam. They pertain to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore and Rs 33.13 crore from the Chaibasa treasury, Rs 89.27 crore from the Deoghar treasury and Rs 3.76 crore from the Dumka treasury.
Special Central Bureau of Investigation Judge CK Shashi on Tuesday pronounced the verdict while Yadav was present in the courtroom. The Rashtriya Janata Dal chief is currently out on bail.
The court will announce the quantum of punishment on February 18, The Times of India quoted a counsel for the Central Bureau of Investigation as saying.
Apart from Yadav, the court also convicted 74 accused persons in the case, The Indian Express reported. Twenty-four accused persons were acquitted.
A total of 170 persons had been accused in the Doranda case, according to PTI. Out of them, 55 died, seven became government witnesses, two admitted to the charges against them, and six persons are absconding.
The main accused persons are Prasad, former MP Jagdish Sharma, the then Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Dhruv Bhagat, former Animal Husbandry Secretary Beck Julius and Animal Husbandry Assistant Director KM Prasad.
Yadav had been in jail since December 2017 after being convicted in the other cases. He was granted bail in the Dumka treasury case on April 17. Yadav had got bail in two other cases in 2019 and 2020.
Till now, Yadav has been completed three-and-a-half-years of total jail sentence if 14 years. He has filed appeals against his convictions in all the four previous cases.