The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it is willing to transfer to another judge one of the cases pertaining to the multi-crore fodder scam where RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is accused of embezzling Rs 35 crore when he was Bihar chief minister.
The apex court observed that there may be slight chance of the judgement being influenced. The next hearing on the matter is scheduled for August 06. Meanwhile, the CBI has sought more time to file its reply.
Earlier the Supreme Court had issued a notice to CBI on Lalu's plea alleging the trial court judge is biased against him as he is related to a minister in Nitish Kumar government.
This came after the Jharkhand High Court on July 01 dismissed a petition filed by the RJD chief seeking transfer of a fodder scam case from a CBI court. The verdict in the case was to be pronounced July 15.
Prasad had filed the petition requesting transfer of RC20A case to another special CBI court as he did not "expect justice" from the present special CBI judge Pravas Kumar Singh following his alleged relationship with two Bihar-based JDU leaders, who are political opponents.
The case is related to alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.70 crore from the Chaibasa treasury of undivided Bihar and which is now a part of Jharkhand. Lalu Prasad was then the Bihar chief minister. Among the 45 accused is Jagannath Mishra, also a former Bihar chief minister.
Lalu Prasad had quit as Bihar chief minister in 1997 when his name figured in the CBI investigations into the case.
The Rs 900 crore fodder scam first surfaced in 1996 when large amounts were found to have been disbursed from the Bihar state exchequer for purchasing fodder and medicines for non-existent livestock.
Around 54 of the 61 cases were transferred to Jharkhand when it was carved out of Bihar in November 2000.
Different CBI courts have passed judgment in 43 cases.