15 awarded stiff jail terms, hefty fines in fodder scam case


Ranchi : A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court Wednesday awarded three to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and slapped fines of Rs.1 million to Rs.5 million to 15 people, convicted in a multi-million-rupee fodder scam in which Railway Minister Lalu Prasad is one of the main accused.

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CBI Judge B.K. Sahay pronounced the judgment convicting Monday 64 people, including senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official and Jharkhand transport secretary Sajjal Chakravarty.

The court deferred the sentence of the IAS officer, as he was hospitalised after he complained of chest pain in the court Tuesday when the sentence was to be pronounced.

Most of those convicted were suppliers. Till now the court has pronounced sentences against 39 convicts. Sentences for the rest of the convicts will be awarded Thursday.

The court Monday convicted 64 people in the case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.390 million from Chaibasa treasury in 1993-1994.

Chakravarty was commissioner of Chaibasa district when the money was fraudulently withdrawn. There were 76 people accused in this case. During the trial, five accused died, four turned approver, two accepted their crime and one is absconding.

Sixty-three cases were lodged by the CBI in relation to the fodder scam in Bihar. Of these, 53 were transferred to Jharkhand after it was carved out of Bihar in November 2000.

Till now, special CBI courts have pronounced judgements in 27 cases. Lalu Prasad is accused in five of the pending cases.