RJD chief Lalu Prasad behind bars in the 1990s
Lok Sabha secretary-general S. Bal Shekar on Monday night issued a notification disqualifying Lalu Prasad as an MP for 11 years — the five years of his jail term and six more years after that.
Lalu was convicted in a fodder scam case relating to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7cr from the Chaibasa treasury in the 1990s, when he was chief minister-cum-finance minister.
The Telegraph went through the 568-page judgment by CBI judge P.K. Singh. Here’s a summary of what the judgment, which says the entire case hinged on circumstantial evidence, found against Lalu:
THE INDIAN PENAL CODE
(Lalu is clubbed with other political executives — Vidyasagar Nishad, B.R. Tufani, C.P. Verma, Jagannath Mishra, R.K. Rana and Dhruv Bhagat — all held guilty of wilful omissions and commissions contributing to the plunder)
● S.B. Sinha, animal husbandry department (AHD) official and main accused, was made authorised visitor to Lalu’s children at their Ranchi school. Phone records show Sinha had called Lalu
● A group photo shows Lalu with accused suppliers Md Sayeed, D.N. Kashyap and others, proving Lalu’s nexus with the fodder mafia
● Lalu gave a two-year extension to Ramraj Ram, an accused AHD official, on recommendation of then Opposition leader Mishra. Rules bypassed, suggesting Lalu’s role in conspiracy
● lLalu extended Sinha’s service on Mishra’s recommendation in violation of rules
Cheating and dishonesty
A 2007 judgment says issuing bogus receipts amounts to cheating, says court. (Lalu bracketed with all the accused charged under this section)
Criminal breach of trust
Prosecution only has to prove that the accused public servant appropriated property entrusted to him — not how he did so in every case, says court. Prosecution has offered strong circumstantial evidence, it adds.
Lalu was also charged under Sections 467 and 468 (forgery). The judgment says there is evidence that all the accused (including Lalu) knew or had reason to believe that documents had been forged. No specific evidence cited against Lalu
Falsification of evidence
Lalu “intentionally induced another person to believe a thing to be true which he knew to be false”
Prevention of Corruption Act
Criminal misconduct by public servant
Sleuths found that accused suppliers distributed 80% of the money, drawn from treasuries on fake bills, among AHD and other govt officials, ministers and Lalu. (Exhibits or testimonies tracing money trail to Lalu not cited)
Dishonest or fraudulent misappropriation
Rs 37.7cr was fraudulently withdrawn from the Chaibasa treasury and misappropriated in connivance with the suppliers, officials and ministers. Judgment says several circumstances prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Lalu was party to the fraudulent withdrawals and misappropriation. But the judgment does not cite exhibits or witnesses specifically testifying to misappropriation by Lalu
Obtaining for himself or for any other person valuable thing or pecuniary advantage by abusing position of power
The judgment does not say Lalu obtained for himself any “valuable thing”. However, it makes the general observation that bribery played a big role in building the nexus between the suppliers, AHD officials, bureaucrats and ministers.
Compiled by Nalin Verma