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Nod for Laloo's prosecution only if there's strong evidence: Bihar governor

Bihar Governor A R Kidwai said on Friday that he would allow the CBI to prosecute Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav in the Rs 9.5 billion fodder scam only if he was convinced that there was strong evidence.

The governor said there would be no consultations with the President or the prime minister and the decision would be solely ''in exercise of my discretionary powers after consulting legal opinion'' which would take at least a month. Kidwai said that to consult any other person or authority besides legal experts would be illegal in the given circumstances.

Kidwai said he would closely scrutinise evidence brought up by the CBI against the chief minister. ''The grounds on which the CBI is seeking the sanction to prosecute Yadav will also be considered before granting permission,'' he said.

''If required,'' added the governor. ''I will even summon the CBI officers to clarify facts to my satisfaction.''

The permission to prosecute Yadav will not be a mere formality, he said. ''The powers with the governor are designed to protect public servants against frivolous or motivated litigation.''

The governor said the question of granting permission or otherwise to prosecute Yadav did not arise at the present moment since the CBI has not yet approached him.

Asked if had consulted the prime minister or the President on the issue, Kidwai said he was in Delhi to attend the birth centenary celebrations of former president Zakir Hussain and his calling upon the home minister was a courtesy call.

Meanwhile, the United Front's steering committee will meet in New Delhi on Saturday.

Though UF sources said that the committee meeting, the first since I K Gujral took over as the prime minister, would not discuss the scam, some leaders did not rule out such a possibility. When approached, Front leaders said no agenda had been structured for the meeting.


CBI will soon seek governor's nod to prosecute Laloo

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