Lalu Prasad Yadav Fodder Scam Case: Taking cognizance of media reports, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the issue of phone calls made to Justice Shivpal Singh, who is presiding over the fodder scam case against Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. Justice Shivpal Singh, before pronouncing RJD chief’s jail-term, had said some well-wishers of Lalu called him. Later, some media reports claimed that calls were made by district magistrate (DM) and a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Jalaun district. However, the two officials have maintained they had discussed nothing but matters related to a land dispute in Jalaun, the judge’s native place.
Now, Adityanath government has ordered an inquiry and handed over to Jhansi division Commissioner Amit Gupta. “There were reports in media about alleged calls made by the DM and SDM of Jalaun to a judge of a special CBI court. The chief minister has asked divisional commissioner of Jhansi to inquire into the allegations and submit a report,” Mrityunjay Kumar, media advisor to Adityanath, was quoted as saying. A senior government official told The Indian Express that DM Mannan Akhtar and SDM Bhairpal Singh have refuted the allegations. “Since the inquiry has been ordered, the facts will be clear once it is completed,” the official added.
Jalaun DM Akhtar is a 2011 batch IAS officer who was made DM of Jalaun in September last year in an administrative reshuffle. He said that he never made any calls to the Judge Shivpal Singh. He further said Singh met him in regards with the land dispute in the district. The official further said he would file a defamation case against the concerned media houses for publishing such reports.
RJD leaders had denied any possibility of anyone from the party making any telephone calls to the judge. However, they felt political opponents may have done so in the guise of RJD supporters. These assertions were made by Shivanand Tiwary and senior party leader Jagdanand Singh. “I came to know about it (special CBI judge Singh making the aforementioned statement in court) through media reports. I can say with certainty that no RJD leader would resort to such a step, as everyone knows that such desperation can backfire”, Tiwary had told reporters. He had also said “the possibility of our political opponents making such a call in the guise of RJD supporters cannot be ruled out. They may indulge in such mischief to queer the pitch for Lalu”.
Prasad has been convicted and sent to 3.5 years in jail in a case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the treasury in Deoghar district. Earlier, he was awarded five years imprisonment in 2013 in a case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.61 crore from the Chaibasa treasury. Yadav was later released on bail granted by the Supreme Court.