Justice Khanwilkar recuses himself from hearing appeal against Bofors verdict in SC
The apex court was to hear the petition filed by BJP leader Ajay Agrawal challenging the May 31, 2005 decision of the Delhi high court quashing all charges against all the accused in the case.india Updated: Feb 13, 2018 22:53 IST
The Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra will constitute a new bench to hear the politically controversial Rs 64 crore Bofors kickback case after Justice AM Khanwilkar recused himself from the case on Tuesday.
Justice Khanwilkar was part of the three judge bench, including the Chief Justice of India Dipak Mira and Justice DY Chandrachud that was to hear the 12 year old appeal by advocate Ajay Agarwal, challenging the discharge of all the accused in this case.
While, Justice Khanwilkar gave no reason for excusing himself from the case, CJI fixed March 28 as the next date of hearing in the case.
The Delhi high court in 2005 given a verdict in the Bofors case where it quashed all charges against the three Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company and castigated the CBI for its handling of the case, saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore.
Ajay Agarwal had filed an appeal against the high court order in Supreme court after CBI failed to move in the case.
The Supreme Court had last month taken objection to an advocate, who is not a party to the case filing an appeal. The court had asked Ajay Agrawal to explain his locus in filing an appeal.
CBI on Tuesday also informed the court that it too had recently filed an appeal in the case citing new evidence.
In its appeal, CBI has informed the top court that it has decided to pursue the case and conduct further investigation in the wake of — the television interview of Michael Hershman, the president of the US-based private detective firm Fairfax.
Michael Hershman, in a TV interview in October last year, claimed that during his probe into violation of currency control laws by some wealthy Indians, he received leads indicating that Bofors had paid bribes through banks.
Hershman also offered to testify and help the Indian agencies in the Bofors case.