The Supreme Court reinstated on Monday criminal conspiracy charges against Lalu Prasad in a fodder scam case, and said that the former Bihar chief minister will be tried in each of the four remaining cases against him.
The ruling came on an appeal by the Central Bureau of Investigation against a 2014 order from the Jharkhand high court that said Prasad could not be tried for the same crime twice, referring to his previous conviction that also led to his disqualification from Parliament and earned him a ban from contesting elections.
The top court said on Monday the HC should have been consistent in its findings and should not have given different views for different sets of accused in a case. It also pulled up the CBI for being late in filing its appeal.
Prasad was among 45 convicted in 2013 for fraudulent withdrawals from the Chaibasa treasury. The fraud was part of a racket to bleed more than Rs 900 crore from the exchequer by showing spends for fictitious medicines and fodder for cattle. The conviction earned Prasad a 5-year sentence, and he spent time in prison briefly before being given bail by the top court.
bhadra sinha @BhadraSinha
Problems for Lalu escalate. SC sets aside Jharkhand HC rose dropping criminal conspiracy charges in one of the fodder scam cases @htTweets
10:45 AM – 8 May 2017
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Monday’s ruling gives his rivals, particularly the BJP, ammunition to target him again. He and his family — his two sons are ministers — has recently been under fire for acquiring a mall in Patna through front companies.
The case in which the top court have its judgement on Monday pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 96 lakh during the RJD chief’s chief ministerial tenure.
The fodder scam came to light in 1996.