The CBI should reopen the Bofors case and move the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s 2005 order quashing proceedings in the scandal over the arms deal, a BJP MP said today. BJP MP Nishikant Dubey said the CBI wanted to approach the Supreme Court in 2005 after the Delhi court quashed the Bofors case. “But it was denied permission by the then UPA government,” Dubey told reporters here. The MP from Godda in Jharkhand said he had also raised the issue in the Lok Sabha today.
“It is a clear case of a systemic failure and also reflects criminality. Therefore, the CBI must seek permission from the government to reopen the case by filing a plea in the Supreme Court,” he said. He added that the CAG report on Bofors was the oldest “pending” report before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), of which Dubey is also a member. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters earlier that the Bofors issue had resurfaced and the Congress should support an investigation into it if it stood for probity in public life.
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Quoting Sten Lindstrom, a senior Swedish officer who had probed the alleged scam involving then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Kumar said he had spoken about a “huge amount of evidence” that had been handed over to India and that the scale of bribery in the deal could be bigger than earlier thought. “He has said that Rajiv Gandhi was involved in this. There must be a thorough probe. The country should know the complete truth,” the minister said. The Bofors scandal relating to alleged payment of kickbacks in the procurement of Howitzer artillery guns had triggered a political storm, leading to the fall of the Gandhi government in 1989.