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November 26, 2001
1238 IST

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Laloo Prasad Yadav surrenders before CBI special court

Soroor Ahmed in Patna

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Laloo Yadav and another former chief minister, Dr Jagannath Mishra, surrendered before the Central Bureau of Investigation special court of H C Mishra on Monday morning in the case number RC-47 A/96 of the animal husbandry scam.

The fodder scam involves the illegal withdrawal of Rs 1.37 billion from the treasury between 1990 and 1996.

In all 110 persons have been chargesheeted in this case.

This includes Indian Administrative Service officers, suppliers and animal husbandry department officials.

Laloo has been accused with not taking action to stop the corrupt practice in the animal husbandry department 'despite having specific information about them in order to let the fraud go on in return of consideration'.

Both the former chief ministers on Monday filed bail application. However, the court order on the bail plea is likely to come late in the afternoon after the lawyers of two complete their arguments.

Laloo Yadav's counsel, Ram Jethmalani, has started pleading for his client.

This will be followed by the argument of the Mishra's lawyers, Rana Pratap Singh.

Jethmalani reached Ranchi on Sunday evening as replacement for Laloo Yadav's lawyer Kapil Sibal, who at the eleventh hour expressed his inability to come, as he was preoccupied with some other work.

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented development the district administration of Ranchi had barred the entry of journalists in the court.

According to the administration sources they have done this at the instance of the district judge.

This is in total contrast to the hearing in the special CBI court in Patna where the newspersons had access till the courtroom.

The security in and around the courtroom is heavy and the local journalists smell some malafide intention in keeping the scribes away from the court.

However, after some protestation by the lawyers the administration had relaxed the security check up.

Meanwhile, Ranchi is observing complete bandh.

The bandh call was given almost a fortnight back by the Maoist Communist Centre in protest against the US bombing of Afghanistan.

Related Report:
Jharkhand govt prepares guest house as jail for Laloo

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