More than 22 years after the alleged offence, former foreign minister and former chief minister of Gujarat Madhavsinh Solanki has been fighting a legal battle at Delhi High Court over an FIR that was registered against him as an offshoot of the infamous Bofors scam. Solanki has moved a petition before the court for quashing the FIR that was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2003 during the reign of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in connection with the incident that had happened in 1992.
A bench of Delhi HC has recently started hearing Solanki’s petition.
Further hearing on it has now been posted for October 16. Senior advocate Hamid Kureshi from Ahmedabad, who also happens to be one of the trustees of Sabarmati Ashram Memorial Trust, has been appearing for Solanki in the matter.
The issue in question is related to the Bofors scam when certain documents related to the case were to be brought from Switzerland. And on February 1, 1992, Solanki – the then foreign minister – had met Swiss Foreign Minister Rene Felber and handed over a note.
The meeting took place at Davos where Solanki had gone on an official visit.
Meanwhile, the CBI had on April 4, 2003 registered an FIR against Solanki in connection with the said note while accusing him of producing false evidence under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Interestingly, the case was registered after obtaining a legal opinion of the then Attorney General as back as in 1998.
Solanki had challenged the said FIR in the Delhi HC.
However, that application was not allowed and the matter was referred to the lower court dealing specially with the Bofors case.
The lower court, meanwhile, dismissed Solanki’s petition following which he again moved the Delhi High Court.
That petition has now come up for regular hearing and its further hearing is now scheduled on October 16.
One of Solanki’s grounds to quash the FIR is that the note which he gave to Felber was not prepared by him, but was given to him by a lawyer.
Secondly, none of the points in the said note was false.
And finally, Solanki has also raised the delay of 22 years in the case which violated his fundamental right to have speedy trial.