Lalu Prasad, the maverick Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo and former Bihar chief minister, and 44 others has been convicted by a special Central Bureau of India (CBI) court in Ranchi in one of the cases - RC 20 A/96 - of the multi-crore fodder scam on Monday. Lalu has been convicted of corruption, criminal conspiracy and cheating and the sentencing will take place on October 3. The 44 convicts include former Bihar chief minister and Congress leader Jagannath Mishra, six politicians and four Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers.
There were a total of 56 accused in the case. But during the trial, seven accused died, two turned approver, one admitted to the crime and one was discharged. Lalu and Jagannath are accused in a total of five fodder scam cases. Lalu quit as Bihar chief minister on July 25, 1997 when his name figured in the CBI investigations in the scam, which surfaced in 1996. After stepping down, he rather surprising pulled his wife Rabri Devi out of the "chowka" (kitchen) and made her the chief minister and continued to rule through proxy.