Ranchi, Sept. 20: Jharkhand High Court today directed the CBI to file an affidavit, explaining why Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and his aide Shivanand Tiwary had not been arraigned as accused in the fodder scam.
The court of Justice R. R. Prasad was hearing a petition filed by one Mithilesh Kumar Singh who has alleged that despite evidence against Nitish and Tiwary, the CBI had given a clean chit to the duo and not made them accused in the fodder scam cases.
Singh informed the court that he had sought information under Right to Information Act from the CBI on the role of Nitish Kumar and Tiwary in the animal husbandry scam case it is probing.
The CBI had then revealed that there was evidence against both Nitish and Tiwary. The agency claimed Shyam Bihari Sinha, the kingpin of the fodder scam case, paid Rs 1.4 crore to Nitish Kumar during elections and Rs 5 lakh to Tiwary for his daughter’s wedding.
The CBI said one Umesh Singh, who was a vigilance employee, had confessed to having paid the money given by Shyam Bihari Sinha to Nitish and Tiwary.
The high court observed that when the CBI was aware of the claims by an accused that he had given money to the duo, their names ought to have been included in the list of accused. This was the basic concept of criminal investigation, the court said.
In his PIL, Mithilesh also claimed that then CBI SP Javed Ahmed had also filed an affidavit before Patna High Court, alleging that Nitish was involved in the fodder scam case. However, the CBI chose not to pursue the matter.
Mithilesh, whose earlier appeal to the high court wasn’ty entertained, approached Supreme Court, pleading that the CBI had “let off” Nitish and Tiwary in the fodder scam case.
The apex court then asked the high court to look into it afresh. The next hearing is on November 22.
The fodder scam, pertaining to the chief ministerial tenure of RJD supremo Laloo Prasad, involves fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 900 crore from various state treasuries.