Lalu`s counsel begins arguments in fodder case

With Supreme Court turning down Lalu Prasad`s plea to transfer the case to another court, arguments on Monday began in the in the fodder scam case.

Ranchi: With Supreme Court turning down RJD chief Lalu Prasad`s plea to transfer the case to another court, arguments on Monday began in the CBI court here in the fodder scam case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa Treasury.

Refuting CBI`s contention that he had prior knowledge about scam, Prasad`s counsel told the special CBI judge Pravas Kumar Singh that the former Chief Minister had issued directions to lodge FIR and take action against the guilty as soon as he learnt about the case on January 21, 1996 after getting a preliminary report by the then Finance Commissioner V S Dubey.

Prasad, an accused in the Rs 950 crore fodder scam detected in the Animal Husbandry Department during his regime, is one of the 45 accused in the RC 20A/96 case pertaining to the Chaibasa Treasury.

The advocate put up a strong defence claiming his client`s non-involvement in the case reflected in the fact that 41 FIRs had been lodged on his direction in connection with fraudulent withdrawal of funds from different treasuries in the undivided Bihar.

Terming wrong the CBI`s contention that the former chief minister was in the know of the Rs 950 crore scam in the early years of 1990s itself, the advocate referred to the recent Supreme Court`s observations equating the CBI with a caged parrot and claimed the analogy fitted exactly in his client`s case as he was deliberately framed at the behest of the erstwhile governments.

Prasad`s counsel began arguments from today after the Supreme Court had turned down his request to change the current special court to another court after the accused apprehended political conspiracy.

The arguments will continue till September 16 in the special CBI court.

The special courts have already pronounced judgments in 44 out of 53 fodder cases over the years.