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Centre questions Nitish`s silence over fodder scam

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New Delhi [India], May 8 (ANI): Coming down heavily on Nitish Kumar after the Supreme Court allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) plea against Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Yadav to be tried under criminal charges, the Centre on Monday questioned the Bihar Chief Minister’s silence over the ‘historic judgement’ in the fodder scam case.

“It is shocking. His silence baffles us. He was one of the prominent persons who led agitation against the fodder scam. Will he compromise it to save his position? Why is he silent on this historic judgement?” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told ANI.

Prasad said it is a big jolt to Lalu as some sort of allegations is levelled against him every day.

“It is a big jolt to Lalu Prasad and this jolt is because of his deeds. Every day, we are seeing some sort of allegations being levelled against him, be it related to property. What is the meaning of this? I believe the trial will take place soon,” he said.

In a major setback to Lalu, the apex court earlier today revived the criminal conspiracy charges against the former Bihar chief minister and others in the fodder scam case.

The two-judge bench also ruled that the trail has to be completed within nine months.

The apex court allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)'s plea challenging the Jharkhand High Court's order of dropping charges against Lalu in the case.

In 2014, the Jharkhand High Court had given relief to the RJD supremo and others by dropping charges of criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and prevention of corruption in the fodder scam.

Around 53 cases were registered for embezzlement of funds on the pretext of buying fodder for cattle.

The High Court had earlier quashed the cases on grounds that a person convicted in one case could not be tried in similar cases based on same witnesses and evidences.

However, the CBI had contended that though the cases have arisen from the fodder scam, they are different in nature as different amounts were involved from different treasuries.

The apex court earlier on April 20 reserved its judgment in the case and asked all parties concerned to give their submissions within a week.

The court also heard the plea filed by RJD supremo challenging his jail sentence in connection the case.

The fodder scam relates to fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs. 1,000 crore by the Animal Husbandry department from various districts when Lalu was the Bihar chief minister from 1990 to 1997. (ANI)

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