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Court to hear on May 8 CBI's plea for further probe in Bofors case

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A on Tuesday said it would hear on May 8 next year the CBI's plea seeking a direction to allow it to go for further probe into the politically sensitive Rs 64-crore Bofors payoff case.

The plea came up before who deferred the matter due to non-availability of original records, which were sent to the

The records of the case were sent to the apex court which was seized of and advocate Ajay Agrawal's plea challenging the May 31, 2005 verdict of the quashing all charges against the accused.

The apex court had on November 2 dismissed the CBI's appeal against the high court's verdict discharging all the accused, including the Hinduja brothers, in the Rs 64-crore Bofors pay-off case but kept alive Agarwal's petition.

It had rejected the CBI's plea seeking condonation of the 13-year delay in filing the appeal against the 2005 judgement.

The court had earlier also deferred the matter due to unavailability of documents which had been provided to the apex court.

Agrawal, who had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from against the then Sonia Gandhi, had filed the appeal in the top court after the CBI had failed to challenge the high court verdict within the mandatory 90 days period.

The CBI had on February 1 moved the trial court seeking permission for further probe in the matter saying it had come across fresh material and evidence.

A day later it had also filed an appeal against the high court decision in the

After the CBI, the had also moved the trial court supporting the plea of the probe agency in the case.

The agency had swung into action after the had orally given it a go ahead to file the appeal in the case in which it cited the October 2017 interview of Michael Hershman, alleging that the then government had sabotaged his probe.

Justice R S (since retired) of the had on May 31, 2005 quashed the CBI case in the Bofors pay-off scam.

Before the 2005 verdict of Justice Sodhi, another of the Delhi High Court, Justice J D Kapoor (since retired), had on February 4, 2004 exonerated the late in the case and directed the framing of charge of forgery under section 465 of the IPC against Bofors company.

The Rs 1,437-crore deal between and Swedish for the supply of 400 155mm howitzer guns for the was entered into on March 24, 1986.

had on April 16, 1987 claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel.

The CBI had on January 22, 1990 registered the FIR for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Penal Code and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and the Hinduja brothers.

It had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in and abroad had entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1982 and 1987 in pursuance of which the offences of bribery, corruption, cheating and forgery were committed.

The first charge sheet in the case was filed on October 22, 1999, against Chadda, Ottavio Quattrocchi, the then S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company. A supplementary charge sheet was filed against the Hinduja brothers -- S P Hinduja, G P Hinduja and P P Hinduja -- on October 9, 2000.

A special on March 4, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi in the case, saying the country could not afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which had already cost Rs 250 crore.

Quattrocchi, who had fled from India on July 29-30, 1993, never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution. He passed away on July 13, 2013. The other accused who died are Bhatnagar, Ardbo and Chadda.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 20:10 IST
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