A special CBI court on Monday convicted former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Prasad Yadav, Jagannath Mishra and 43 others in a 17-year-old fodder scam case.
Yadav and Mishra, who were sent to the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Hotwar, could be sentenced to more than three years in jail after arguments on sentencing take place Thursday.
After the Supreme Court judgement of July 10 which ordered that a legislator would be disqualified immediately if convicted for crimes with a sentence of two years or more, the RJD chief would also automatically cease to be a Lok Sabha member if sentenced to over two years. The charges against him attract a jail term of up to seven years.
On a rain-soaked day in Ranchi, a city that was still a part of Bihar the last time he was chief minister,Yadav walked into an Ambassador car with a perfunctory wave. He had learnt of his fate at about 11.10 am, with the judge informing all 45 accused that they had been found guilty soon after proceedings began.
There was some slogan shouting by politicians and their supporters who had come from Bihar but tight security by the police and paramilitary forces ensured that there was no trouble at the district court campus.
The case decided on Monday is among six similar ones against Yadav and Mishra, five of which are being tried in Jharkhand.
Referred to as the animal husbandry department (AHD) scam, it involves the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury between 1993 and 1995. The money was shown as used to buy mostly medicines and feed for cattle, but investigation by the CBI showed all documents used for withdrawal had been forged.