The CBI, in an appeal concerning the Bofors scandal, has written to the government to reconsider its 2005 decision and allow the central agency to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court in the case, reported PTI. The written appeal has challenged the quashing of an FIR in the alleged scam, officials said.
In a letter to the Department of Personnel and Training, the CBI conveyed that it wanted to file the SLP challenging the Delhi High Court order of 31 May 2005, quashing all charges against Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the Bofors case.
Government officials said the CBI was in favour of filing the SLP in 2005 but the then UPA government did not give its nod.
Legal experts feel that the agency will have a lot of explaining to do for condoning the lapsed time period of over 12 years. The then Delhi High Court judge R S Sodhi had on 31 May 2005, quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers – Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand – and the Bofors company, and berated the CBI for its handling of the case, saying it had cost the exchequer nearly Rs 250 crore.
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 charges to be framed against the Bofors company under Section 465 of the IPC.
On Wednesday, the CBI had said it would look into the “facts and circumstances” of the Bofors scam mentioned by private detective Michael Hershmam, who alleged that the then Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government had sabotaged his investigation.
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 found a Swiss bank account named ‘Mont Blanc’.
Hershman, who was recently in New Delhi to address a conference of private detectives, also alleged that the bribe money of the Bofors gun scandal had been parked in the Swiss account.