The Delhi high court on Tuesday dismissed former foreign minister Madhav Singh Solanki's plea for quashing an FIR lodged against him as an offshoot of the infamous Bofors scam, saying what he did was a "grave matter".
The FIR was lodged against Solanki, also a former chief minister of Gujarat, for fabricating false evidence as he had handed over, in 1992, a memorandum to a minister in the Swiss government regarding status of proceedings in the Bofors case and the Letters Rogatory issued by a special court here to Switzerland seeking its assistance in getting documents from there.
While dismissing 87-year-old Solanki's plea, Justice Muralidhar said, "It prima facie appears that the intention behind handing over that memorandum was to dissuade Swiss authorities from further processing the Letters Rogatory (LR)."
"It appears that the said outcome was a distinct possibility had the government of India not immediately advised the Swiss authorities not to take any serious action on the memorandum," the HC added.
"Prima facie the attempt by the appellant, as a Union Cabinet Minister of the government of India in handing over the memorandum intending to stall the processing of the LR forwarded to the Swiss authorities was a grave matter," it remarked.
Solanki had initially challenged the FIR as well as the sanction granted for the same by the government in the high court which had remanded the matter back in the trial court dealing with the scam which in turn had dismissed it.
Thereafter, he had filed the present appeal in the high court against the trial court's decision.
The high court in its 30-page judgement rejecting Solanki's appeal also said that "Circumstance brought into existence was the handing over of the memorandum by the appellant, as a Cabinet minister of the government of India, to the minister in the government of Switzerland with a view to stopping the government of Switzerland from further proceeding with the request made by way of the LR."