Supreme Court defers hearing on Lalu, Rabri’s plea in DA caseNovember 14th, 2007 - 10:35 am ICT by admin
The petition challenged the Patna High Court’s decision to go ahead with the Bihar Government’s appeal against the acquittal of Lalu and Rabri in the case.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said that the appeal has not yet been admitted and only the High Court had gone into the maintainability of petitions filed by the State Government.
The Supreme Court could only hear the matter after the appeal is admitted, the apex Bench said.
On September 20, the High Court had held the Bihar government’s appeal challenging former Chief Ministers acquittal in a DA case maintainable, saying the appeal could be entertained under section 378 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) relating to a case of acquittal.
The trial court had acquitted Lalu and his wife Rabri Devi in the disproportionate assets case.
On December 18, 2006, the duo had been acquitted by Special CBI judge Muni Lal Paswan in the case, relating to Lalu’s assets worth Rs 46 lakh beyond his known sources of income. Rabri Devi was made a co-accused in the case.
The decision came as a major relief to duo in the case, which was pending since 1998.
Bihar Government had moved the High Court against the trial court verdict after finding that the CBI was not challenging the acquittal of Lalu and Rabri in the disproportionate assets case.
Questioning the move of Bihar government, CBI, in its petition, maintained that the Nitish Kumar Government had no locus standi to file an appeal as the case was investigated by it and the state government cannot act contrary to the executive decision of the Centre.
Lalu-Rabri income came under scrutiny after questions over what happened to the money allegedly siphoned off by the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief during the height of the fodder scam.
On March 11, 1996, the Patna High Court had directed the CBI to probe the fodder scam in which Lalu is one of the main accused. In the scam, the funds meant for cattle fodder were diverted from the animal husbandry department.
In the disproportionate assets case, the CBI had registered case against Lalu Yadav on August 19, 1998. According to the charges levelled, Lalu had amassed wealth to the tune of Rs 4,626,820 disproportionate to his known sources of income during the period 1990-97 as Bihar Chief Minister.
It was this case, which had led the CBI to raid the Chief Minister’s then official residence at 1, Anne Marg in Patna.
A chargesheet was filed against Lalu on April 4, 2000. Under the chargesheet, the name of Rabri Devi was also included as a co-accused for abetting her husband in the offence.
On April 5, 2000, Lalu and Rabri surrendered before a CBI court. Rabri was granted bail, and Lalu was sent to jail. On May 10, 2000, Lalu was granted provisional bail by the Patna High Court, which was extended on 25 occasions.
Charges were framed against them on June 9, 2000.
The court examined 94 prosecution witnesses, including Brigadier R P Nautial, ex-director general of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), A P Dorai, and Bihar Assembly Speaker the late Radhanandan Jha.
A total of 132 people, including a former CBI SP of Patna, V S K Kaumudi, deposed for the prosecution.
The FIR in the case was registered by Kaumudi under the Prevention of Corruption Act. (ANI)
Tags: accused, acquittal, acquitted, assets, bench, bihar government, cbi, criminal procedure code, crpc, disproportionate, fodder scam, lalu, locus standi, nitish kumar, patna high court, petition, state government, supreme court