In a surprise move, Central Bureau of Investigation director Ranjit Sinha has advocated the dropping of charges against Lalu Prasad Yadav in the three pending cases which are offshoots of the infamous fodder scam in which the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader has been convicted in one of the cases.
In recommending that the charges against Yadav be dropped, Sinha differed not only with Director of Prosecution (DOP) OP Verma but also other senior officers of the Patna branch, including the head of Patna zone.
The matter has now been referred to the solicitor general on the "specific" request of Sinha even though the attorney general is the designated authority in case of difference of opinion between the CBI director and the DOP.
"(Most of) the evidence in the case and most of the accused persons are common, including the ingredients of charges in the said cases.
"I am of the view that a person may not be tried for the same offences in another case for which he has already been convicted when the evidence is the same," Sinha said.
"I disagree with the Branch, HOZ and DOP. Since I do not agree with the DOP, let the matter be referred to the solicitor general for his opinion on the legal issues raised in the petitions in all the three RCs referred to in the comments of DOP," he had said on February 26.
Yadav, the former Bihar chief minister, has already been convicted in one of the cases related to the fodder scam.
The cases in which Sinha recommended that charges against Yadav be dropped are connected with the alleged illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from Dumka Treasury during the period December, 1995 - January, 1996, Rs 84.53 lakh from Deoghar Treasury between 1990-94 and Rs 33.13 crore from Chaibasa Treasury during December, 1992-93.