Bihar's Fodder scam shook the nation two decades ago after the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of around Rs 1,000 crore by the Animal Husbandry department from various districts when Lalu Prasad Yadav was the chief minister of Bihar between 1990 and 1997.
A recap of events following the case...
January 1996: It was in January 1996 that the fodder scam, said to be worth over Rs 900 crore, involving Bihar’s Animal Husbandry department first hit headlines.
It was alleged that there was a large-scale siphoning off of money from the government treasury to non-existent companies for the purchase and supply of cattle fodder.
March 1996: On 11 March 1996, the Patna High Court directed the CBI to investigate the allegations. On 19 March, the Supreme Court ordered a two-member bench to examine the progress of the probe.
May-June 1997:On 10 May 1997, the CBI made a formal request to the Governor of Bihar to prosecute Yadav. On 17 June 1997, the Governor gave his nod for the prosecution.
The CBI, on 23 June, filed chargesheets against Yadav and 55 others under sections of the IPC – including 420 (forgery) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and Section 13 (b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
July 1997: After stepping down as the Bihar chief minister, the the RJD chief surrendered before a court on 30 July.
August 1998:A case of disproportionate assets was registered against Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi on 19 August 1998.
April-June 2000: Chargesheets were filed against Yadav and Rabri Devi on 4 April 2000. On 5 April, both Yadav and Rabri surrendered before the CBI court. While Rabri was granted bail, Yadav was sent to prison. On 9 June, charges were framed against Yadav in court.
October 2001 - February 2002:With the creation of a new state, the Supreme Court transferred the fodder scam cases to Jharkhand. In February 2002, trial began in a special CBI court in Ranchi.
December 2006:On 18 December 2006, Yadav and Rabri were acquitted in the disproportionate assets case.
March 2012: On 1 March 2012, a CBI court framed charges against former Bihar chief ministers Lalu Yadav and Jagannath Mishra, JDU leader Jagdish Sharma, and 31 others for fraudulent withdrawal of money.
September 2013: In September 2013, a CBI court convicted Yadav along with 44 others in the scam. Yadav was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha after the ruling.
November 2014: Yadav moved the Jharkhand High Court challenging the CBI court’s verdict. In November 2014, the High Court ordered that the proceedings against Yadav be continued – under IPC Sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of an offence committed or giving false information) and 511 (attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or imprisonment, and in such attempt doing any act towards the commission of the offence).
The court dropped other charges – including criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust and prevention of corruption – on the grounds that a person once convicted or acquitted cannot to be tried for the same offence again.
November 2016:Supreme Court pulls up Mishra for allegedly dragging the appeal filed by the CBI challenging the quashing of four pending fodder scam cases against him.
May 2017:Supreme Court orders separate trial in all cases. The court orders that the trial be completed in nine months.
June 2017: Lalu Prasad Yadav appears before a special CBI court in Ranchi after his plea seeking exemption of personal appearance is quashed.