The Supreme Court on Monday overturned the Jharkhand High Court’s ruling that granted relief to former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav from being tried in cases pertaining to the fodder scam.The apex court allowed a petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against his exoneration. Yadav will face charges of criminal conspiracy.
Here’s a look at the events that led up to Monday’s ruling by the Supreme Court:
- January, 1996: News of the scam breaks in the media. Money worth almost Rs 1,000 crore has been looted from the state exchequer in the name of supplying fodder for cattle in districts like Chaibasa. The money was issued as grants to non-existent companies.
- March, 1996: The Patna High Court asks the Central Bureau of Investigation to look into the alleged irregularities. The Supreme Court also upholds the High Court’s directive.
- June, 1997: Bihar Governor AR Kidwai grants permission to prosecute chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and others in the case. The CBI conducts raids at Yadav’s house. The chief minister steps down and names wife Rabri Devi, a political greenhorn, in his place.
- July, 1997: The Supreme Court denies bail to Yadav; he surrenders before the CBI court.
- December, 1997: Yadav is released on bail after spending 135 days in judicial custody.
- August, 1998: A disproportionate assets case is registered against both Yadav and Rabri Devi. Rabri Devi is named as a co-accused for abetting the crime.
- April, 2000: Yadav and Rabri Devi are both charged in the case. Both surrender, but only she gets bail. Yadav is sent to jail, but gets provisional bail later.
- June, 2000: Charges are framed against Yadav in court.
- October, 2001: The Supreme Court transfers the case to Jharkhand as the new state is created, Yadav surrenders in Ranchi.
- December, 2006: Yadav and Rabri Devi are let off in the disproportionate assets case by a special CBI court.
- December, 2012: The special CBI court frames charges against Yadav for the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from the Dumka treasury between December 1995 and January 1996.
- September, 2013: The CBI court in Ranchi convicts him in the fodder case. This 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 the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury. Yadav gets a five-year jail term and Rs 25-lakh fine in the case.
- December, 2013: Yadav gets bail.
- 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.
- May, 2017: The Supreme Court reinstates criminal conspiracy charges against him.