After the verdict of the Ranchi High Court, the way has been clear for arguing whether Nitish Kumar and Shivanand Tiwari can be named as an accused in various fodder scam related cases. The direct benefits of the verdict of the High Court will most likely go to Lalu Prasad.
The Ranchi High Court has dealt a heavy blow to Nitish Kumar in the fodder scam case (RC 33A/96). In the wake of the verdict, the political temperature of Bihar has once again gone up. The Lalu Prasad camp, especially, has become busy in giving final shape to its homework. In the midst of all this Nitish and Lalan Singh met after a long time and this has sparked a lot of rumours in the capital, Patna. In the fodder scam case (RC 33A/96), the Ranchi High Court has annulled the verdict given by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court dated 28 November 2011. In its 20 July verdict, the High Court had ordered the Special Judge of the CBI Court (Ranchi) to hear all the arguments of the advocate of petitioner Mithilesh Kumar Singh and pass a verdict as per the law on the basis of the merit of the case. After the verdict of the High Court, the way has been clear for arguing whether Nitish Kumar and Shivanand Tiwari can be named as an accused in various fodder scam related cases. The direct benefits of the verdict of the High Court will most likely go to Lalu Prasad because the scam hearing can get prolonged. According to reliable sources, the Lalu camp too is getting ready to submit a petition from its side in the case.
It should be noted that Mithilesh Kumar Singh had claimed while filing a petition with respect to various cases of the fodder scam in the Special Court in Ranchi that many testimonies including that of Shyam Bihari Sinha, Dr. R.K. Dass and Research Officer A.K. Jha (numbers 161 and 164) showed that Nitish Kumar and Shivanand Tiwari also took money in this scam. The petition further said that under similar charges many culprits were sent behind bars by the Court. Notably, as per the information sought under the Right to Information ( RTI), the CBI told Mithilesh Kumar Singh that Shyam Bihari Sinha in his statement had said that Rs. 1 crore were sent to Nitish Kumar via Umesh Kumar Singh; Umesh has denied this in his statement due to which no further action could be taken against Nitish Kumar. It was said in the petition that the Research Officer had accepted in his testimony that Vijay Mallick had given Rs. 1 crore to Nitish Kumar through Umesh Singh. Apart from this, Rs. 10 lakhs was given to Nitish via Mahendra Prasad and another Rs. 5 lakhs via R.K. Rana. Nitish Kumar accepted the money and even thanked Shyam Bihari Sinha.
It should be noted that Mithilesh Kumar Singh had claimed while filing a petition with respect to various cases of the
fodder scam in the Special Court in Ranchi that many testimonies including that of Shyam Bihari Sinha, Dr. R.K. Dass and Research Officer A.K. Jha (numbers 161 and 164) showed that Nitish Kumar and Shivanand Tiwari also took money in this scam. It was said in the petition that under similar charges many culprits were sent behind bars by the Court.
R.K. Dass too in his testimony said that Nitish Kumar took money while going on a foreign trip. On the basis of these facts, Mithilesh Kumar Singh had consulted his advocate Dinu Kumar and lodged a petition in the CBI Court of Ranchi via senior counsel B.P. Pandey. He appealed to the Court that summons be issued against Nitish Kumar and Shivanand Tiwari. Apart from this, an alternative appeal was filed to initiate further inquiry against these two under 173/8 but the CBI Court had dismissed the petition without hearing the arguments of the petitioner. The Court said that the petitioner was a stranger and had no locus standi. Mithilesh Kumar Singh had challenged this verdict in the High Court.
The petitioner told the High Court that the CBI Court’s verdict was illegal and unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has given this provision in the Mumbai Bomb Blast case and the 2G Spectrum case that any person can apply to help the judicial process in a court with respect to a crime. The High Court was told that there was enough evidence against
Nitish Kumar and Shivanand Tiwari in the fodder scam case. After listening to these arguments the High Court set theCBI Court’s verdict aside and gave its own verdict. Expressing happiness over the High Court’s verdict, Mithilesh Singh said that in the case No. RC 20A/96, the judicial process will be speeded up as soon as possible. He said that he has been saying for long that Nitish Kumar’s and Shivanand Tiwari’s role in the fodder scam is way more than that of Lalu. He also said that after the High Court’s verdict Nitish must resign on moral grounds. Senior counsel Dinu Kumar said that even in cases of suspicion, there has to be a trial in the court; this case is fit for issuing summons based on the statements of Shyam Bihari Sinha, Dr. R.K. Dass and evidence given by Research Officer A.K. Jha. If on the basis of the same evidences a case can be registered against Lalu, then why not against Nitish Kumar and Shivanand Tiwari? After the High Court’s verdict, political circles are buzzing with heated discussions.
Rashtriya Janata Dal’s (RJD) Member of Legislative Assembly, Samrat Chaudhary says that during the last Legislative Assembly session they had raised the issue of Nitish Kumar’s involvement in the fodder scam. The Chief Minister had said that we should bring a motion which he would demolish. This time we will give him all the chance to do that. He further added that the Chief Minister must resign on moral grounds in the wake of the verdict. Rohit Singh and Upendra Yadav of Youth Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) said that LJP has already come out on the streets to unmask Nitish Kumar in the fodder scam. Our struggle will continue until the truth comes out. Rohit says that law is equal for all be it Lalu Prasad or Nitish Kumar or the common man. He said that our leader Ram Vilas Paswan has always raised his voice against corruption and has advocated good behavior in democracy.
Amidst all this rhetoric of the politicians, serious talk is gathering force in Patna that somewhere or the other, the reason behind the increasing closeness between Nitish Kumar and Lalan Singh is that there are surely many cases against the government including the fodder scam. What is noteworthy here is that the day the meeting took place between Nitish Kumar and Lalan Singh, the very next day the Supreme Court had to hear the Biyada case. It is said that it was the result of the meeting that no arguments could take place in the Supreme Court because the petitioner’s counsel took a later date for presenting arguments. Apart from this, it is being discussed that in case the Lalu camp becomes aggressive over the fodder scam in the Court then Lalan Singh might prove helpful for Nitish Kumar. It is being said that Nitish and Lalan have met a number of times in Delhi too. Whatever might happen on the Court front, those who distanced themselves from Lalan Singh in the Janata Dal (United) are perturbed; they are afraid that if Lalan Singh gets back to his old strong role within the party, they will have to shut shop.