Clean chit in Bofors has come 25 years too late: Big B

Mumbai: Expressing happiness over his name being cleared in the 25-year-old Bofors case, megastar Amitabh Bachchan today said the clean chit has come "too late".

Addressing a press meet here after a former Swedish Police chief, the whistle-blower in the case, gave him a clean chit, the 69-year-old actor said he and his family had to suffer insult for no reason.

"I am happy that at least now I have been declared innocent. However it is sad it came out so late. I wish my parents were alive today to hear about my innocence," he said.

Bachchan felt this clean chit should have come 25 years back.

"I remember that when these allegations were levelled against me, my father had asked me if I had done anything wrong but I could not say anything that time. He was disturbed about the allegations. But today they are not with me to hear about this (clean chit)," he added.

In an interview to a website, former Swedish police chief Sten Lindstrom, who led the Bofors probe in his country, alleged Indian investigators probing the scandal had during a trip to Sweden in 1990 "planted the Bachchan angle."

Expressing happiness over his name being cleared in the 25-year-old Bofors case, megastar Amitabh Bachchan today said the clean chit has come "too late". PTI

Quoting the Swedish police, Bachchan said, "The original list submitted by them (Swedish police) did not even include my name in the accused list. It was planted by Indian investigators when they went to Sweden to procure the list."

Asked to identify the person in India who wanted to defame him, Big B declined to take any names and said he only wanted to clear his name in the scandal.

The megastar said that the question of compensation does not arise as the investigating agencies cannot make up for the suffering his family underwent all these years.

Bachchan, who won Lok Sabha election from Allahabad in in 1984 on Congress ticket but resigned three years later said, "As this controversy erupted before I quit politics, it was generally perceived that I did so because of the allegations against me. I did not quit politics due to this case. I quit because I was not good at politics."

Recalling his determination about clearing his name in the 1987 scandal, he said, "I fought the case in court of law and got my name cleared."

Asked if this case had strained his relationship with the Gandhi family, who also had been linked to the scam, Bachchan said, "This question is not related to the case."

The scam, estimated to be the tune of Rs 64 crore, related to supply of Howitzer guns to India by Swiss arms manufacturer Bofors. It was alleged that the Swedish firm had paid massive kickbacks to Indian politicians and defence officials to bag the multi-billion contract.

Bachchan, previously took to his blog to break the news of getting a clean chit and said truth had prevailed but nobody could fathom the anguish he had to go through because of the "petulant blame".

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP and wife Jaya Bachchan said that she was happy that the truth has come out.

"I want to know how to erase those things which were written about him then for which he resigned. How will you erase those things. This should serve as a lesson that nothing should be done in haste," she told reporters outside Parliament complex in the capital today.

Here is the official statement given by Mr Amitabh Bachchan with regard to the interview published in the newspapers where Chitra Subramanian–Duello spoke to former Swedish Police Head Mr Sten Lindstrom who was investigating the Bofors–India Gun deal.

"My family and I are happy to note the statement made by Former Swedish Police Head investigating the Bofors – India Gun deal. Mr Lindstorm has stated that we were innocent and that there was never ever any evidence to indicate our involvement. The interview indicates that it took Mr Lindstorm 25 years to come out with the truth. For us as a family that has borne the humiliation and insults for the past 25 years this comes as an vindication of our stand. What has been most disturbing for me has been the pain of insinuation that my ageing parents had to bear during their lifetime. What has also been most alarming has been the statement given by the Police Head that my name was “planted” deliberately when he had indeed, already through his investigation, not found us guilty. When the accusations were made my family and I moved the London courts and proved our innocence. We won our case and were delighted that the truth had eventually been justified. But, for the former Police Head to have not stated then what he always knew, is most surprising. The abuse, humiliation and the castigation that our family bore for 25 years has now been vindicated, finally."

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 25, 2012 22:23:13 IST

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