No end to Lalu’s trobules, ED may confiscate assets created by husbandry scam
Ranchi: More troubles are likely for the ailing RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, incarcerated in the Rs 950 crore fodder scam and now undergoing treatment in Rajendra Prasad Institute of Medical Science here, as the Enforcement Directorate may confiscate assets created by those convicted in the scandal in line with the directions to CBI by a special court.
The former Bihar chief minister was earlier this week sentenced to five years in prison and slapped a fine of Rs 60 lakh by a special CBI court here in connection with the fifth fodder scam case involving embezzlement of over Rs 139 crore from Doranda treasury.
The special court directed CBI to provide a copy of the judgment, the FIR and the charge sheet of the fodder scam case to the ED for necessary action.
In the judgment delivered on February 21, CBI special judge Sudhanshu Kumar Shashi said “I find that the properties/assets created from the proceeds of the crime by the convicts and dead accused persons of this case could not be identified.”
He said it may be a subject for investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. “The Enforcement Directorate, if wishes so, and if law permits, may proceed for identification and confiscation of such properties/assets created by convicts or dead accused persons by the ill gotten money. Thus, the prosecution(CBI) is directed to provide a copy of this judgment, FIR and charge-sheet etc. of this case to Enforcement Directorate for taking necessary action on their part,” the order said.
The judge said that it was found that the accused was narrowing down the scope of investigation after the scam broke out.
“I also find that if the present accused had taken action and investigated the matter deeply at proper time, the scam wouldn’t have taken place. Since 1991, various newspapers had raised the issue that animal husbandry department(AHD) officials indulged in corruption but no action was taken by this accused in spite of holding the post of the chief minister-cum-finance minister of the state.”
Besides, elected members of the Assembly had time and again raised questions on the floor of assembly regarding fraudulent withdrawals in AHD but no proper action was taken by him.
“These facts clearly establish that the accused had knowledge about the fraudulent withdrawals from the AHD, but instead of taking action he extended protection to the scamsters.
The trial in the case, which had commenced in 1996, was completed on January 29 this year and Prasad was convicted on February 15. The quamtum of punishment was read out by the court on February 21.