26 get 1-5 years' jail terms for fodder scam

A special CBI court here Thursday awarded jail terms ranging from one to five years to 26 people convicted in a case related to the multi-crore-rupee fodder scam in which funds of the animal husbandry wing meant for buying cattle feed were embezzled in undivided Bihar.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge G.K. Singh held 26 people guilty in a case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs.67.5 lakh from Sahebganj district treasury from 1991 to 1993 and 1995 to 1996.

Of the 26 convicts, 10 are officials of the animal husbandry department while the rest are suppliers.

The court also slapped fine ranging from Rs.5,000 to Rs.1 million on the convicts.

On Tuesday, another CBI court had convicted 64 people in another case and awarded them two to six years in jail.

Two former Bihar chief ministers, Lalu Prasad and Jagannath Mishra, are accused in five cases related to the scam. Their trial is continuing in CBI courts in Ranchi.

The fodder scam hit the headlines in the late 1990s in Bihar, where officials and politicians were accused of illegally withdrawing crores of rupees of public money in the guise of purchasing cattle fodder.

A total of 61 cases were filed in the scam and 53 were transferred to Jharkhand after it was carved out from Bihar in 2000.

With Thursday's verdict, different CBI courts in Ranchi have passed judgments in 40 cases.

Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad was also named as one of the accused in the scam.

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