Fodder Scam Case; Lalu Prasad Yadav gets 5 years in jail, fined ₹ 60 lakh; A look back at the case

Ranchi’s special CBI court on February 21 sentenced RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav to five years in jail and a fine of Rs 60 lakh was imposed in the 1996 fodder scam case. As per the court’s proceedings, Lalu Prasad was found guilty of illegal withdrawals to the tune of ₹139.35 crores from the Doranda treasury.

The 73-year-old RJD leader was earlier sentenced to 14 years in jail in four other cases related to Dumka, Deoghar, and Chaibasa treasuries in Jharkhand. The three-time Chief Minister was found guilty along with 39 others, NDTV reported.

Moreover, one more case linked to the fodder scam is pending before the CBI court in Patna. The case revolves around the illegal withdrawal of money from the Bank-Bhagalpur treasury. 

The Fodder scam

The Fodder Scam involved hundreds of millions of dollars in alleged fraudulent reimbursements from the treasury of Bihar state for fodder, medicines, and husbandry supplies for non-existent livestock. The then chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and former chief minister Jagannath Misra were found guilty and were arrested for theft. The scam was unearthed in the 1990s in Bihar. 

The fodder scam covered Ranchi, Chaibasa, Dumka, Gumla, and Jamshedpur district treasuries in Jharkhand and Banka in Bihar. The scale of the fodder scam was estimated at Rs 950 crore. The scam has become a watershed in Bihar politics and some leaders have made it a career. 

In 1996, the first raid was taken place based on the irregularities found in the case. Following this, two months later, the Patna High Court brought in the CBI to probe the scam. 

The involvement of Lalu Prasad Yadav came into the limelight days later the probe was commenced. The Chaibasa Treasury case is the first case in which a CBI court has convicted Lalu Prasad in September 2013, more than 11 years after the trial began. Lalu Prasad has been sentenced to five years in jail for embezzling Rs 37.7 crore. Following the same, he was dismissed from the house of parliament- Lok Sabha. 

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Again in 2017 December, he was convicted in the Deoghar treasury case. He was convicted for the second time in a fodder scam case for fraudulently withdrawing Rs 89 lakh and was sentenced to three and a half years in jail. Moreover, his third conviction happened in 2018 in which he was given five years in jail in this case. It was a case of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.7 crore.

Dumka Treasury case was Lalu’s fourth conviction and the fifth was his conviction in the case Doranda treasury in which there occurred embezzlement of Rs 139.35 crore.