What fodder scam is

The fodder scam pertains to fraudulent withdrawal of public money worth Rs 950 crore from the treasuries of undivided Bihar during 90s. The withdrawals were carried out by Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) officials on the basis of fake bills and vouchers for buying feed, fodder and medicine for livestock.

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How did it surfaced

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in its annual reports for the fiscals 1992-93, 93-94, 94-95 and 95-96, pointed the excess withdrawal of funds by the AHD from the treasuries. At that time, Lalu Prasad government did not table these reports in the Assembly. The scam surfaced when the report was tabled in the state legislature in December 1995.

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Cases and FIRs

The first FIR was lodged on January 24, 1996. The CBI numbered the case RC-20A/1996 when it took over the investigation on March 19, 1996. The CBI lodged 54 cases in connection with the scam. After the bifurcation of Bihar in November 2000, 52 cases were transferred to the CBI court in Ranchi. The two cases which were left in Bihar are – DA case against Lalu and his wife Rabri Devi and pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 40 lakh from the Bhagalpur treasury.

Lalu’s resignation

Then governor AR Kidwai had given his nod to prosecute chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. A special CBI court took cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the probe agency and issued a non-bailable warrant against the RJD chief. If reports are to be believed, at that time, the CBI was seeking the help of the Army to arrest Lalu. On July 25, 1997, 1 Aney Marg - the official residence of the Bihar Chief Minister - was virtually surrounded by paramilitary forces. With demands for his resignation continuing to mount, on 25 July, Lalu resigned from his post. On the same day, Lalu held a meeting of his MLAs and announced that his wife Rabri Devi would be the Chief Minister of Bihar. Rabri Devi was sworn-in as the Chief Minister on the same day. On 28 July, 1997, Rabri's new government won another vote of confidence in the Assembly.

Key accused

Shyam Bihari Sinha, an officer of regional director rank in the AHD, is the key accused. He figured in all the 54 cases. Till May 2013, the courts have disposed of 45 of 54 cases.

(JPN)

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