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Fifty-eight convicted in fodder scam case


Ranchi : A court here Thursday convicted 58 people and awarded them five to six years in prison in a fodder scam case involving embezzlement of millions of rupees from the treasury of pre-bifurcation Bihar.

Judge Uma Shankar Sinha of the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court convicted the 58 in case number RC 66 A/96 related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.480 million from the Chaibasa treasury.

There were a total of 64 accused in the case. But three of the accused turned approver and three others died during trial. Of the 58 convicted, 42 are suppliers and rest are officials of the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) and other government departments.

The suppliers were awarded imprisonment of five years and a fine of Rs.100,000 each and the officials were awarded imprisonment of six years and a fine of Rs.150,000 each. If the convicted people fail to pay the fine, they will have to serve an additional six months in prison.

In another case, the special CBI court convicted 39 people. The court of Judge K.N. Tewary convicted the accused in case number RC 32 A/96 Wednesday and pronounced the sentence Thursday. This case was related to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.72.1 million from the Ranchi treasury.

There were a total 44 accused in the case. Two died during trial. The court convicted 39 accused and acquitted three others. Those convicted were sentenced to three to six years of imprisonment. Of the 39 convicted, 13 are government officials and the rest are suppliers.

The multimillion-rupee fodder scam surfaced in 1996 and the investigation was handed over to the CBI at the order of Patna High Court. A total 63 cases were registered in the scam and 41 were transferred to Jharkhand after it was created from Bihar in November 2000.

The CBI has filed charge sheets in almost every case and trials are under progress. Till now the special CBI court has passed judgment in 16 cases and nearly 200 accused in different cases have been punished with two to seven years imprisonment.

Central Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and former Bihar chief minister Jagganth Mishra are also accused in five case of the scam. Lalu Prasad had opposed the transfer of the cases from Bihar to Jharkhand.