'Handling Bofors payoff case was tougher' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Handling Bofors payoff case was tougher'

india Updated: Nov 06, 2007 11:13 IST

Dealing with Rs 64 crore Bofors payoff case was "tougher" than handling the high profile Jessica Lall and Priyadarshini Mattoo murder cases, said Justice RS Sodhi, who is to retire as a judge of Delhi High Court on Wednesday.

"It was tough for me to deliver the judgement in Bofors case when the entire world was watching at me," Sodhi said in an apparent reference to his May 31, 2002 judgement quashing chargesheet against three Hinduja brothers on the ground that CBI had failed to take prior approval of Central Vigilance Commission before filing the chargesheet.

Hindujas were accused of receiving commission from the Indian government or the defence deal in 1986.

"It was difficult for me to browse the voluminous documents collected by CBI from various quarters. Some of them were from Sweden," he added.

In a brief interaction with media on the second last day in his office, Sodhi said as a judge for past eight years while hearing the cases, he used to see the cases as a human being first than a judge.

For the past one-year-and-half, he had handled six high profile cases and now planning to parctise as a Supreme Court lawyer in criminal law.

In cases like Jessica and Mattoo, he had to go through the testimonies of witnesses, including the statement of socialite Bina Ramani, for several nights before delivering the judgement.

He said that for him it was hard to decide the sentence in cases like murder and other heinous crimes in which death
penalty is maximum.