Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and fodder scam accused Lalu Prasad Yadav was shifted to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences’ (RIMS) director’s bungalow in August, to allegedly save him from the Covid-19 crisis.
The newly appointed RIMS director Padam Shri Dr Kameshwar Prasad took charge of the office on Sunday. As per the regulations, he should have got the allotted bungalow as soon as he took charge as a director. However, he has to stay in the state guest house in Moradabadi for some time as per an ABP News report.
When Lalu was shifted to the guest house allegedly to save him from the coronavirus infection, the RIMS director’s post was empty. In a statement, Dr. Prasad said that he does not know how circumstanced Lalu was shifted to the bungalow. “If the circumstances are in control, the bungalow will get vacated,” he further added.
Lalu has been staying in RIMS to get medical attention for the last two years. Since August this year, Lalu has been staying in RIMS’s director’s bungalow. During the Bihar elections, there were allegations that Lalu was operating RJD’s functionalities from the said bungalow.
Lalu was granted bail in three cases linked to Fodder Scam, as he has completed half of the sentence. In the fourth case, he may get bail in the next hearing on 27th November. In case he gets the bail, he will go back to his residence in Bihar; otherwise, RIMS administration will have to shift him to another location.
The Kelly’s Bungalow, located in Ranchi’s posh area with a three-acre green campus, was lying vacant when Lalu’s security personnel were found COVID-19 positive. He was earlier paying rent for Rs 1000 per day at the special room allocated to him in RIMS. There was a political debate when it was reported that the RIMS administration did not have any protocols for letting the Director’s bungalow out for rent to a patient, or the bungalow’s rent.
The multi-crore Fodder scam
RJD President and former Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, was convicted in four fodder scam cases. He was sentenced to jail for 14 years. It has been two decades since the fodder scam was unearthed. The multi-crore scam involved many politicians and bureaucrats siphoning off several crores of rupees on the pretext of purchasing fodder, medicines, and animal husbandry equipment for ‘vast herds of fictitious livestock’ over 20 years.
Then finance commissioner VS Dubey unearthed the scam after he got hold of financial irregularities of massive proportions while reviewing the performance of various departments of the Bihar government. During the investigation, he found that money was withdrawn in excess of the allocation by some of the departments, and the animal husbandry department topped the list of withdrawals.
Lalu Prasad Yadav’s conviction
A special CBI court in 2013 convicted Yadav in the first scam case involving the withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crores from the Chaibasa treasury. In a second case involving the Deoghar treasury of Rs 89 lakhs in December 2017. Later in another case, Lalu and Jagannath Mishra were found guilty of the third fodder scam involving the Chaibasa district treasury of Rs 33.67 crores. In March 2018, a special CBI court in Ranchi pronounced RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav guilty in the fourth fodder scam. Lalu Prasad was sentenced to five years of jail term and a fine of Rs 10 lakhs.
Yadav was imprisoned in Jharkhand jail, but he spent a large portion of his sentence at RIMS allegedly undergoing treatment.