Published: Sun, October 22, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

CBI to reopen Bofors case, seeks govt's permission

CBI to reopen Bofors case, seeks govt's permission

Twelve years after it was denied permission by the then UPA Government to file a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court to challenge the Delhi High Court quashing proceedings in the Bofors scandal, the CBI has now sought permission from the ruling NDA dispensation to approach the apex court and reopen the probe.

The move comes days before hearing on an SLP filed by Advocate Ajay Agarwal challenging the 2005 Delhi High Court order in connection with the Bofors scam and reopen the case. The Delhi High Court on March 31 2005 had quashed charges against Hinduja brothers - Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand - and the Bofors company.

The CBI officials had then said that it could re-investigate the Bofors case only if a court order allowed it to.

Before the 2005 verdict, another judge of the Delhi high court, Justice J.D. Kapoor (since retired) on 4 February 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. "For too long the Congress has kept conveniently quiet", Ms Irani told reporters here. Ms Irani alleged: "The Congress has a tendency to either bribe or give threats to people looking into dubious deals involving its leaders".

CBI officials in the past have felt there was enough evidence still in the Bofors case to nail the Congress' top leadership but SK Sharma, then director of Prosecution, had given an opinion in the negative.

Speaking to ANI, CBI Chief Spokesperson A. Dayal said, "CBI has learnt of matter pertaining to Bofors, aired on a TV channel containing Michael Hershman's interview".

Hershman, who is the president of the US-based private detective firm Fairfax, claimed in television interviews recently that Rajiv Gandhi was "furious" when he had found a Swiss bank account "Mont Blanc".

The Bofors scandal, occurred between India and Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s, initiated allegedly by the Congress party politicians and implicating the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, and several other members of the Indian and Swedish governments.

The CBI on Wednesday assured that it will look into the allegations levied by Hershman.

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