* People from Lalu Prasad Yadav's village decide not to eat anything to express solidarity. Read full story.
* Lalu Prasad Yadav to appeal in high court on October 17. Read full story
* No conspiracy in Lalu Prasad Yadav's fodder scam verdict, claims Congress. Read full comment
* List of fodder scam accused jailed on Thursday. Read here
* BJP welcomes Lalu Prasad Yadav's sentencing, favours fast track courts to try corrupt leaders. Read full story
* Is Lalu Prasad Yadav's political innings over or will he fight back? Read full story
* Sir, I am innocent, pleads Lalu Prasad Yadav. Read full story
* BJP sees change in Bihar politics after Lalu Prasad Yadav's sentencing in Fodder scam. Read full story
* Lalu Prasad is a hero and will remain a hero in future too, says his wife and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi. Read full comment
Lalu Yadav, convicted in the fodder scam, was sentenced to five years in prison and imposed with a fine of Rs 25 lakh. He also stands disqualified from the parliament post sentencing.
Former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra and Janata Dal-United MP Jagdish Sharma too were sentenced to four years imprisonment in the case.
RJD spokesperson states that they will appeal against the sentence in a higher court. “Laluji is innocent, he is a victim of political conspiracy. The BJP and Nitish (Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar) are behind this,” RJD leader Ramkripal Yadav stated.
The sentencing in fodder scam case announced today by the CBI court that has convicted 44 individuals including Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav.
As Yadav's lawyer completed arguments in the case on September 17, special CBI Judge PK Singh will pronounce the judgment in the case No RC 20 A/96 today. Yadav moved the Jharkhand High Court and later the Supreme Court, seeking change of the judge in the case. Both the courts dismissed his petition, and directed him to complete argument in the case before the CBI court. Yadav had in his petition alleged that trial court judge PK Singh was biased against him as he is a relative of PK Shahi, Education Minister in the Nitish Kumar Government in Bihar, "who is his (Yadav''s) biggest political enemy".
Authorities in Bihar sounded an alert across the state, apprehending trouble after the court pronounced verdict in a multi-crore fodder scam case involving Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav.
The case pertains to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa Treasury in the 1990s. The FIR was lodged by Bihar government in February 1996 but the case was transferred to CBI a month later. CBI had investigated the scam for a year and the charge sheet was filed in 1997. The charges were framed in 2000 following which the Special CBI court commenced trial against Lalu Yadav and 44 other accused.
RJD's plea had faced stiff opposition from JD-U leader Rajiv Ranjan who submitted that it would be a ‘travesty of justice’ if the judge is transferred at the far end of the trial. He submitted that it would give a wrong impression to the entire country if the judge is transferred and raised a question on RJD supremo's petition seeking transfer of the judge who has been hearing the case since 2011.
The fodder scam also known as "Chara Ghotala" involved the siphoning of funds from the Bihar Government treasury. The alleged theft spanned over several years, and many Bihar state government administrative and elected officials across multiple administrations were allegedly engaged in it.
Additionally, there are also allegations that they were involved in the fabrication of "vast herds of fictitious livestock" for which fodder, medicines and animal husbandry equipment was supposedly procured. The fodder scam was unearthed in Bihar in 1996 when Lalu Prasad was the Chief Minister of the state. He had resigned from the post in 1997 after a court issued an arrest warrant against him in connection with one of the cases.
Besides the RJD supremo, other accused persons include former Bihar Chief Minister Mishra and JD(U) MP Jagdish Sharma.
The judgement in the fodder scam is likely to have a bearing on Bihar politics, as the RJD chief will face immediate disqualification as a Lok Sabha member if convicted as per a Supreme Court order that an MP or legislator would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more.
The government later promulgated an ordinance to undo the apex court order, prompting opposition BJP to allege that it had been done to protect Lau Prasad Yadav in case he is indicted in the fodder scam.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi has, however, slammed the ordinance as "complete nonsense" which should be "torn up and thrown away," leaving its fate uncertain.
The RJD chief faces immediate disqualification as Lok Sabha member under a recent Supreme Court order that an MP or MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more and under some other laws even without jail sentence.
The August judgement of the Supreme Court struck down a provision in the electoral law that provided protection to sitting MPs and MLAs by allowing them to continue in their posts if they appeal against a lower court conviction and secure a stay of the order.
Lalu would have got protection from disqualification if the ordinance promulgated by the Centre was cleared by President Pranab Mukherjee but he is said to have some reservations and raised questions over it.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi has compounded problems by attacking the ordinance and calling for its withdrawal, virtually sealing its fate.
RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha said they would challenge the order in a higher court after the sentence is known.
We will fight this issue electorally: Lalu's son Tejaswi
"We will appeal in the high court against the order. We will also take up the issue in the people's court. We will give a fitting reply in the polls," Tejsawi told reporters after his father was taken to jail.
Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan on Monday said that the law is taking its own course in the fodder scam case surrounding former Bihar chief ministers Jagannath Mishra and Lalu Prasad Yadav, and assured his party’s full support to the RJD during this tough time.
Meanwhile, expressing his sadness over Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad Yadav’s conviction in connection with the multi-crore fodder scam, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said the former will provide evidences of his innocence before a higher court.
RJD Chief Lalu Prasad will appeal in the Jharkhand High Court against his conviction in a fodder scam case, his family said on Monday and alleged he had fallen victim to 'conspiracy' by his rivals.
Also read: Lalu Prasad Yadav's black cat commandos may be withdrawn
Terming the conviction of Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam case as a "defining moment" for Indian politics, BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Monday charged the UPA government with approving the ordinance on lawmakers to protect the RJD chief.
Senior party leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh trashed talks about the possibility of a change in RJD's leadership saying it was not required as Prasad will be out on bail.