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Court verdict on fodder scam on July 15

Court verdict on fodder scam on July 15Ranchi, June 21 - The verdict in a case related to animal husbandry scam, also known as fodder scam, will be announced July 15, sealing the fate of Bihar's former chief ministers Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra who are involved in the case, a lawyer said here Friday.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court of Justice P. K. Singh in the Jharkhand capital Ranchi has finished hearing in the case related to the multi-million rupees fodder scam, and will announce its verdict July 15.

All the 45 accused in the case, including Lalu Prasad and Mishra, have been directed to be present in the court, the lawyer said.

The case is related to a fraudulent withdrawal of Rs. 37.70 crore from the Chaibasa treasury of Jharkhand (then a part of Bihar) in 1996.

Lalu Prasad had to quit the chief minister's post in 1997 after his name figured in the CBI investigation into the fodder scam.

The investigations were transferred to the CBI on the directions of the Patna High Court.

Charges were framed against Lalu Prasad, Mishra and others in April 2000.

There were a total of 56 accused in the case. Eight died during course of trial, one admitted the crime and two turned approver. Around 350 witness statement were recorded in the case.

The fodder scam surfaced in 1996. Around 52 of the 61 cases were transferred to Jharkhand when it was carved from Bihar in November 2000.

Different CBI courts have passed judgments in more than 43 cases. Lalu Prasad and Mishra are accused in five cases. The verdict in one of the cases involving them will come on July 15. (IANS)