In a setback for Lalu Prasad Yadav, the Supreme Court of India today allowed a plea by the CBI opposing the dropping of charges against the former chief minister of Bihar.
Jharkhand High Court had earlier dropped the charges against Yadav and other accused in the fodder scam case.
The apex court has ordered separate trials for the other accused in the scam.
The court has ordered that the trial be completed in nine months.
In giving its verdict, the court set aside Jharkhand High Court’s order by which trial against Lalu and others were stayed after conviction in one of the fodder scam cases. The apex court added that the Jharkhand High Court should have been consistent in its findings and should not have given different views for different sets of accused in a case.
The fodder scam pertains to the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs 1,000 crore by the Animal Husbandry department from various districts when Yadav was the chief minister of Bihar between 1990 and 1997.
Yadav was convicted by a special CBI court in Ranchi in October 2013 and was given a sentence of five years in jail in one of the fodder scam cases. He then moved the Jharkhand High Court challenging the CBI court’s verdict.
The High Court had ordered that the proceedings against Yadav be continued under IPC Sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of an offence committed or giving false information) and 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment, and in such attempt doing any act towards the commission of the offence).
The court dropped other charges – including criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust and prevention of corruption – on the grounds that a person once convicted or acquitted cannot to be tried for the same offence again.