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Twelve years on, CBI seeks to challenge Bofors clean chit, awaits govt nod

In May 2005, the Delhi high court quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers and the Bofors company, and criticised the CBI for its handling of the case.

india Updated: Oct 21, 2017 08:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CBI,Bofors,Delhi high court
Indian artillery men fire 155mm Bofors guns at enemy positions from a gun emplacement in the Drass sector in Kashmir on June 22, 1999. (AFP File Photo)

The CBI has sought permission from the government to challenge in the Supreme Court a 12-year-old order of the Delhi high court in Bofors case.

The CBI’s move, in effect, will revive the Bofors pay-off scandal.

“We have asked the government to reconsider it’s earlier decision of not allowing the agency to challenge the HC order in the top court,” said a senior CBI official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The earlier decision was taken when the UPA government was in power.

The CBI has written to the ministry of personnel, the administrative ministry of the probe agency, in this regard, the official said.

The Delhi high court order on May 31, 2005 quashed all charges against Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the Bofors case.

Sources said the CBI was in favour of filing a Special Leave Petition against the HC order but due to denial of sanction from the government it could not move further.

Sources said even if the agency now gets sanction to file the SLP, it will have to request the SC to condone the delay, which is normally a period of three months.

The then Delhi high court judge RS Sodhi had on May 31, 2005, quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers – Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand – and the Bofors company and criticised the CBI for its handling of the case saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore.

Before it, another judge of the Delhi HC judge, Justice JD Kapoor (since retired) on February 4, 2004, had exonerated late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed framing of charge of forgery under Section 465 of the IPC against the Bofors company.

It was allegedly that to get an order for supplying Bofors long range guns, the Swedish company paid bribe to the tune of Rs 64 crore to Indian officials and politicians.

First Published: Oct 21, 2017 08:32 IST