Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav will face trial in the fodder scam with the Supreme Court allowing a petition filed the Central Bureau of Investigation against his exoneration. The plea was filed by the agency challenging a Jharakhand High Court order that had let off Yadav in one of the cases. Yadav will face charges of criminal conspiracy.
The top court has asked a trial court to complete the proceedings within nine months.
The Jharkhand High Court had in 2014 ordered the dropping of the charges against the RJD leader on the grounds that the same person, once convicted, cannot be tried for the same case twice. However, it had allowed proceedings against him for falsifying evidence and attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life, The Indian Express reported.
The CBI had argued that Prasad had been involved in swindling different amounts of money from different treasuries. The leader had been convicted in one of the cases in October 2013, but had been granted bail in December of the same year.
The Supreme Court had reserved its judgement in the case on April 20 and asked all parties concerned to make their submissions within a week.
Meanwhile, Prasad’s lawyer, Prabhat Kumar, said the Supreme Court ruling did not pose any immediate challenge to the RJD leader. “The apex court’s verdict would not pose any imminent threat to Prasad… the only thing is that he will have to face trial in the five fodder scam cases still pending against him in different courts across Ranchi and Patna,” Kumar said before the verdict, according to Hindustan Times.
“But, the trial court will have to revert to the proceedings that were dropped after the High Court’s order in 2014,” he added. Since the trial court will have to revert to the proceedings before the Jharkhand High Court’s order granting relief to the former chief minister, the cases will take a long time to be decided, Kumar added.