Bofors case: CBI moves application in Delhi court seeking further probe, says it has come across fresh evidence

New Delhi: The CBI has moved an application before a Delhi court seeking a direction to allow it to go for further probe into the Rs 64 crore Bofors payoff case, saying the agency had come across fresh material and evidence.

The application was moved before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ashu Garg on 1 February, a day before the CBI filed a petition challenging the 31 May, 2005 order of the Delhi High Court discharging all accused persons in the case.

 Bofors case: CBI moves application in Delhi court seeking further probe, says it has come across fresh evidence

Representational image. AFP

The agency had also informed the apex court about the filing of the application in the trial court which has posted it for further deliberations on 17 February.

"An application under section 173 (8) of the Code has been moved before the trial court which has been directed by the trial court vide order dated 1 February to be taken up for consideration on 17 February," the agency had said in its special leave petition (SLP) filed in the Supreme Court.

The probe agency had on Friday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court's 2005 verdict acquitting all accused in the case.

The agency swung into action after the attorney general orally gave it the go-ahead to file the appeal in the case in which it cited the October 2017 interview of private detective Michael Hershman, who alleged that the then Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government had sabotaged his probe.

The Rs 1,437-crore deal between India and Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm howitzer guns for the Indian Army was entered into on 24 March, 1986

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

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

It had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in India 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 22 October, 1999, against Chadda, Ottavio Quattrocchi, the then defence secretary SK Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed against the Hinduja brothers — SP Hinduja, GP Hinduja and PP Hinduja — on 9 October, 2000.

A special CBI court in Delhi on 4 March, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi from 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 29-30 July, 1993, never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution.

He passed away on 13 July, 2013. The other accused persons who died are Bhatnagar, Chadda and Ardbo.

Justice RS Sodhi (since retired) of the Delhi High Court on 31 May, 2005, had quashed the CBI case in the Bofors payoff scam.

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Updated Date: Feb 03, 2018 16:07:51 IST