Dr. Jagannath Mishra, Lalu Prasad
The State Of Bihar through C.B.I.
Date - 10 November, 1998
Citation - 1999 (1) BLJR 347
Bench: M Eqbal
These petitioners namely, Dr. Jagannath Mishra, Lalu Prasad @ Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ravindra Kumar Rana and Vidya Sagar Nishad have moved this Court for grant of bail in connection with Case No. R.C. 64A/96 (Special Case No. 65 of 1996) registered under Sections 120B, 418, 420, 467, 468, 471, 477, 201 and 511 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13(2) read with Sections 13(l)(d) & (c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
Since all these petitioners have been made accused in connection with the aforesaid case registered on the basis of one F.I.R., these petitions are being disposed of by this common order after considering their respective cases on merit.
This case relates to Fodder Scam in the Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Bihar. The brief history of the initiation of criminal cases, as has been narrated by the Special Judge, C.B.I., Patna, in his order dated 30.10.1998, is that sometime in the year 1996 the officials of the State of Bihar on the orders of one of the petitioners, namely, Lalu Prasad, holding the office of the Chief Minister lodged about 41 cases against drawing and disbursing officer wise relating to the fraudulent activities in the Animal Husbandry Department (A.H.D.) in various districts in the State of Bihar.
It appears that subsequently the matter came up before this Court in C.W.J.C. No. 1656 of 1996(R) and its analogous case and this Court directed the C.B.I, to investigate and scrutinize all cases of excess withdrawal and expenditure in the A.H.D. in the State of Bihar during the period 1977-78 till 1995-96. A further direction was given to lodge cases where withdrawal was found to be fraudulent and take up investigation in those cases and during that period the investigation by the State police was suspended.
Against the said order passed by this Court, the State of Bihar moved the Hon"ble Supreme Court and the Hon"ble Supreme Court modified the order passed by this Court to the extent that the entire investigation now stands entrusted to the C.B.I, and C.B.I. was directed to face over the investigation already made by the State police inclusive of the F.I.R., arrests and attachments and deal appropriately therewith.
Accordingly, all the cases pending investigation by the State police were taken over by the C.B.I. The C.B.I. also instituted some more cases for excess withdrawal of money from the treasuries of different districts. The present case had, accordingly, been registered by the C.B.I. being Case No. R.C. 64A-96 on 15.8.1996 with the allegations that the accused persons named in the F.I.R. and others during the period of 1990-94 committed criminal misconduct and entered into criminal conspiracy in between themselves in pursuance whereof they cheated the Government of Bihar to the tune of more than Rs. 95 lakhs inspite of having allotment of meagre amount.
Charges against Lalu Prasad.
The allegations against the petitioner Lalu Prasad in this case is that he had no plausible defence and sufficient materials have come on the record to show a strong case of criminal conspiracy and gross misuse of office as he provided political umbrella and extended facilities to the Scamster. The following are the charges levelled against the petitioner Lalu Prasad which have been mentioned in paragraph 35 of the bail petition:
(i) Knowledge of excess withdrawal in AHD from 1988-89 to 1994-95 as the petitioner has been CAG report (Civil) but no positive steps were taken.
(ii) Knowledge of excess expenditure as he approved 10th Finance Commission on 26.5.1994.
(iii) A question raised by Sri S.K. Modi regarding withdrawal of the money inspite of ban in the floor of the House and inspite of assurance, no positive effort was taken to get the matter investigated.
(iv) In 1989 the petitioner Lalu Prasad as the leader of Opposition d Bihar Legislative Assembly recommended the case of promotion of Dr. Ram Raj Ram to the then Chief Minister.
(v) That a note by Ram Jivan Singh dated 18.8.90 for referring a report against the officers of AHD Ranchi concerning serious financial irregularities being investigated by Central Bureau of Investigation.
(vi) The Vigilance Case No. 34 of 1990 dated 9.8.90 against AHD officials was registered but on the letter of Dr. Jagannath Mishra that the investigation to the said case should be confined to the members of Central Purchase Committee only, no investigation was carried out against A.H.D. officials.
(vii) Vigilance case No. 23 of 1994 against Dr. Shesh Muni Ram was stalled by the petitioner and enquiry by Bechu Prasad and Sheo Balak Choudhury.
(viii) Extension of services of Dr. S.B. Sinha and Sri S.K. Das and Indra Bhanu Prasad and others were given.
(ix) Statement of co-accused under Section 164 Cr.P.C. regarding payment d: illegal gratification.
(x) File No. 329 of 1996 shows that on pursuation of Sri V.S. Dubey on 31.11.1996 the petitioner changed his earlier recommendation and on the same day amended his order to register the case.
(xi) The School Admission Form of the Children of the petitioner shows Dr. S.B. Sinha and Dr. R.K. Rana as local guardian as such it shows close nexus and intimacy.
(xii) The Bank draft of Rs. 40,000/- was purchased by R.K. Rana in favour of Mayo College of Girls School, Ajmer to pay the admission fees of the daughter of the petitioner.