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Bofors Case : CBI Seeks Government Nod To Reopen The Probe

Bofors Case : CBI Seeks Government Nod To Reopen The Probe”

The Delhi high court order on May 31, 2005 quashed all charges against Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the Bofors case. A petitioner files an SLP to seek a special permission to be heard in the apex court in appeal against any judgment or order of any court or tribunal in India.

The CBI Director Alok Verma recently told the PAC that the agency was willing to reinvestigate the Bofors if the centre allows it, after the sub-committee of PAC asked Verma to put up the case regarding "systemic failure" in the Bofors contract as well as charges of bribe taking that made the deal a political scandal in the late 1980s.

The then Delhi High Court judge R S Sodhi had on May 31, 2005, quashed all charges against the 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.

Late past year, CBI had informed the Supreme Court that authorities had not permitted it to file an appeal against the verdict.

As reported by The Indian Express on September 2, the CBI, in a June 22 note to the Central Agency Section of the Department of Legal Affairs (Ministry of Law and Justice), stated that it did not file the SLP since it did not get permission from the then "competent authority".

What has added impetus to the Bofors case is a revelation by private detective Michael Hershman that his probe was sabotaged by the Rajiv Gandhi government.

He, during an interview to a TV news channel, said he was ready to testify and assist the Indian agencies in the Bofors case. At that time Hershman ran Fairfax Group, a private investigation firm.

In 1986, then Finance Minister V P Singh had ordered an investigation.

The Bofors 155 field howitzer deal was mired in controversies after members of both Indian and Swedish governments were allegedly found involved in accepting kickbacks for facilitating the deal between the two countries. If the Centre gives the CBI the go-ahead, the Bofors probe can be reopened.



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