In a big development, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has sought the government’s permission to challenge the High Court’s decision in high profile Bofors scandal, The Indian Express reports. The move, which comes 12 years after the HC decision, will effectively overturn the stand taken by the then UPA government. In a note, written to Central Agency Section of the Department of Legal Affairs (Ministry of Law and Justice), the CBI had expressed its inability to file the SLP since it did not get permission from the then “competent authority”, report says.
“The CBI as the investigating agency was of the view that SLP should be preferred against order of the Delhi High Court dated 31st May 2005 quashing all proceedings against Hinduja brothers. However, since permission for filing SLP was not accorded to the CBI by the competent authority, no SLP was preferred,” the CBI’s note to the Law Ministry stated. Same information was disclosed by CBI this to a sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament looking into the Bofors scandal.
Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday came down heavily on Congress leadership and asked the party to come clean on the alleged involvement of its leaders in the Bofors scam. Irani also sought a clarification from the Congress on the interviews given by private detective Michael Hershman, who reportedly stumbled upon a Swiss bank account where the alleged Bofors bribe money was said to be deposited. On Wednesday, the CBI too asserted that it would look into the “facts and circumstances” of the Bofors scam mentioned by Hershman.
In a big ruling, Justice R S Sodhi had quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers —Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company on May 31, 2005. The court had also pulled up the CBI for its handling of the case.