Ranchi: The Jharkhand High Court has dismissed RJD chief Lalu Prasad's petition seeking a transfer in the fodder scam case. Lalu had argued that the judge currently presiding over the case is related to his rival party JD(U) and there is a conflict of interest. He had also sought examination of one more witness in the case.
The court of RR Prasad, who had on June 28 reserved the order on the pleas after Ram Jethmalani argued for Lalu, dismissed the petitions. The final order in the fodder scam case is expected to be delivered on July 15.
Lalu filed the petition requesting transfer of RC20A case to another special CBI court as he did not "expect justice" from the present special CBI judge Pravas Kumar Singh following his alleged relationship with two Bihar-based JD(U) leaders, who are political opponents. Appearing for Lalu Prasad, Jethmalani had argued before the court that the AHD case be transferred from the court of Pravas Kumar Singh on that ground.
He also argued that that there were about 76 witnesses in the Animal Husbandry Scam but only 17 witnesses had been examined in the case and sought to examine one more witness in the case.
On June 24, Supreme Court advocate Surendra Kumar Singh had informed the special court of Pravas Kumar Singh that arguments on behalf of his client be stopped till an order by the high court. The CBI court has been hearing arguments for the last one month and had on June 20 directed 45 fodder scam accused, including Lalu, to complete arguments by July 1.
He has fixed July 15 to deliver the verdict on the RC 20A-96 case pertaining to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from Chaibasa Treasury in the 1990s. There are 45 accused out of 56 in the RCA/96. The rest have since either turned approver or died.
(With additional information from PTI)