Bangalore: The politics in India are deteriorating every day, to such that the politicians and the corruption are becoming inseparable. It is hard to find good politicians and government servants now a days. The recent case of 2G spectrum where all the accused were acquitted without any capital punishment or penalty charges is good example to clearly depict the pathetic state of politics in India. From the judgement of this case, we can very well witness the power of money and to what extent it can play in freeing the accused of one of the world’s biggest corruption case. Every commoner across the nation are questioning the reliability of our judges and the loopholes in our country’s judiciary system. It has been barely a few weeks since we have encountered the shocking judgement of the 2G spectrum scam case, there comes one more major scam case which is none other than the “Fodder Scam” or otherwise called “Chara Gotala” scam.
Since it is a 2 decades old case, first let us dig into to let you know the case details.
The fodder ( food, especially dried hay or straw, for cattle and other livestock) scam which is a collective term for a set of 64 cases, of which 53 were litigated in Ranchi, Bihar. The case dealt about the large scale embezzlements of government funds by producing fake bills to claim the payments that were actually never made. It is the first biggest corruption case in India which accounted a whopping 945 crores.
It all began in 1985, back then it was Chief Minister Lalu Prasad yadav ruling the Bihar state, the so called Lalu-era. This scam very well pictures how some petty forgeries and small scale fraudulent transactions, would go on to become a Rs. 1000-crore scam and unseat an incumbent chief minister. It was in 1985 when CAG T.N.Chaturvedi noticed a delay in monthly account submissions from the Bihar state and also realised there were some small scale false expense reports which intensified and snowballed into a whopping Rs. 945 crore scam in a span of ten years.
In 1993, slew of I-T raids uncovered several AHD officers and suppliers who had accumulated properties worth 25 crores. But before taking any action, the IT officer leading the raid was transferred and the issue was put to an end. After that, in the following years, several fraudulent transactions were discovered, however, Jagdish Sharma (one of the accused in the case), the assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) who was a supporter of former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra, intervened to put a full stop to the matter.
It is then in 1996, State Finance Secretary V.S.Dubey ordered district magistrates and deputy commissioners of all districts to look into cases of excessive withdrawals. The raid of Animal Husbandry Department at Chaibasa unearthed huge cache of documents showing fraudulent withdrawals. The state government instituted two separate one man commissions under Phoolchand Signh and Justice Sarwar Ali for enquiry. In the meantime the then state BJP president Sushil Kumar Modi filed a PIL which was undertaken by CBI and both Mr. Misra and Mr.Prasad were named in FBI’s chargesheet in July 1997.
As the case gained heat and because of the succumbing pressure, Lalu Prasad Yadav resigned from his position but not before outsmarting his opponents by installing his wife Rabri Devi as the chief minister. The other cases which are to be completed against him are related to the treasuries of Chaibasa, Doranda in Ranchi involving Rs. 139.39 crore, Dumka (Rs. 3.31 crore) and Patna.
Now coming back to the point, this 21 year old case’s judgement was given on January 5, 2018 by the Judge Shivpal Singh. Lalu is sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison by a special CBI court in the second fodder scam case and also a fine of Rs. 10 lakh on the RJD chief for offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). The other convicts have also got their quantum of sentences accordingly.
Even though we can’t say justice has won by the punishment given after several years, but we can console ourselves by telling that, truth will find it’s own way to come out and in the same way the corrupt politicians will find their way from escaping the punishment. We, hereby, assure that people of India are not against the judgement by the H’nble Judges, however, if the judgements are like this then who will prevent from going ahead for such scams when they know that they will come out clean with the help of their power and money.