New Delhi: In a major setback to RJD leader Lalu Prasad, the Supreme Court Tuesday dismissed his plea seeking transfer of his trial in the Bihar fodder scam case before another competent court.
The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam while directing the trial court to complete the trial as early as possible gave another five days to the prosecution to complete their arguments and 10 days to the accused persons to present their side of the case.
The court said that trial court will pronounce its verdict without being influenced by whatever has been said by the Ranchi High Court and by the Supreme Court.
The court also noted that the judge sought to be changed by Lalu Prasad at this stage of the trial has been hearing the matter since 2011.
Lalu had alleged bias contending that the trial court judge's sister was married to a cousin of Bihar minister P.K. Shahi who was his sworn political opponent. The apex court rejected this contention.
The multi-million-rupee fodder scam in Bihar surfaced in 1996. Around 54 of the 61 cases were transferred to Jharkhand when it was carved from Bihar in November 2000. Different CBI special courts have passed judgments in more than 43 cases.