SC suspends trial in fodder scam case against Lalu Prasad

Lalu Prasad

The Supreme Court Tuesday suspended proceedings in a Jharkhand court against RJD supremo Lalu Prasad in a case related to the animal husbandry department scam, popularly known as fodder scam.

The apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J. Chelameswar also issued notice on Lalu Prasad’s plea for transfer of the case against him from a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court in Jharkhand to any other court with competent jurisdiction. Lalu Prasad claimed there could be bias against him and sought the transfer of the case.

The apex court order came upon senior counsel Ram Jethmalani telling the court that the trial court has followed an unusual procedure wherein while the arguments were in progress, it put up a notice informing the party to file the written argument by July 1, so that the judgment could be pronounced July 15.

The court was informed that there was likelihood of a bias as the sister of the trial court Judge Minu Devi was married to late Jainendra Shahi, the cousin of Bihar minister P.K. Shahi who was recently defeated by a RJD candidate in a parliamentary by-election.

The notice is returnable in two weeks.

The multi-million-rupee fodder scam in Bihar surfaced in 1996. Around 54 of the 61 cases were transferred to Jharkhand when it was carved from Bihar in November 2000. Different CBI special courts have passed judgments in more than 43 cases.

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