The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Budget Rs 3 cr, expense Rs 30 cr

Ranchi, Oct. 3: Former Jharkhand chief secretary Vijay Shankar Dubey told a special CBI court hearing a fodder scam case that Rs 30 crore was withdrawn in three months against an annual budgetary allocation of Rs 3 crore for the animal husbandry department in unified Bihar.

Dubey appeared as witness in the court of special sub-judge II, P.R. Das, hearing case RC-20/96 of the fodder scam. He will again depose tomorrow.

The case concerns a scam of Rs 37.70 crore. Of the 459 witnesses, 102 have been examined. Of the 459 accused, 56 are facing trial. Three of the accused have died, while two have become CBI witnesses.

Dubey, then the Bihar finance secretary, told the court that on January 22, 1996, he came to know that cash was being overdrawn in the piggery section of the animal husbandry department.

Rs 3 crore was allotted to the piggery every year, but Rs 30 crore had been spent within three months, he said.

Dubey said he had informed the Bihar chief secretary about the overdraft and had asked an official, Maan Singh, to probe the matter.

The official submitted his report on January 27, 1996. Dubey said he had sought permission from then chief minister, Laloo Prasad Yadav, to file an FIR against the accused.

Laloo Prasad granted the permission and an FIR was lodged on March 27, 1996.

Laloo Prasad’s counsel Chitranjan Sinha later said that the CBI had all along wanted to establish that his client (then chief minister) did not grant permission to lodge an FIR. “Today’s deposition by V.S. Dubey has made things clear,” he added.

Illegal withdrawal for the animal husbandry department had begun in 1978 and continued till 1996. The amounts were billed against purchase of fodder, medicine and instruments for the department against contingency bills.

Partition pangs

Laloo Prasad, who is in Ranchi to appear in the court for the fodder scam cases, said that nearly two years after Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, he has not got over the parting.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal president reached here at midnight and is staying at the state guesthouse in Morahabadi.

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