• Associate Sponsor

Attorney General K K Venugopal to Govt: Bofors SLP bad idea, may be rejected

It will be better, the Attorney General has said, if the CBI remains a respondent and presents its stand.

Written by Ananthakrishnan G | New Delhi | Updated: January 30, 2018 6:48 am
bofors scam, slp petition special leave permission, cbi, attorney general, ag kk venugopal, govt, indian express Attorney General K K Venugopal (File Photo)

Attorney General K K Venugopal has advised the government that the CBI should not file a special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court in a case related to the Bofors scandal as it is likely to be dismissed on grounds of delay and “could well prejudice its stand even as a respondent in the appeals already pending”. It will be better, the Attorney General has said, if the CBI remains a respondent and presents its stand.

In a letter to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Venugopal said that 12 years have passed since the May 31, 2005 order of the Delhi High Court, quashing corruption charges against the three Hinduja brothers in the scandal related to the purchase of 155 mm howitzers from Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors.

Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, one of the accused in the case, was given a clean chit by the Delhi High Court in February 2004. “Any SLP filed before the Supreme Court at this stage, in my view, is likely to be dismissed by the court on account of the delay itself,” the Attorney General said.

File notings subsequent to the High Court order, Venugopal said, showed that “the issue regarding the feasibility of challenging the said judgment in the Supreme Court was considered at various levels”.

The Director of Prosecution of CBI and Deputy Legal Adviser (Ministry of Law and Justice) were of the view that “the present was not a fit case for filing a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court of India”. The then Additional Solicitor General too was of the same opinion, the letter pointed out.

“The record does not reveal any significant events or special circumstances which could be said to constitute sufficient cause for not approaching the Supreme Court within the 90 days permitted by law, or at any time thereafter within the last so many years. It is worth noting that the present government has been in position for more than three years now. In the circumstances, the long delay in approaching the court will be difficult to satisfactorily explain to the court,” the Attorney General said.

Venugopal pointed out that the matter is “still alive” in the form of petitions filed by Ajay Kumar Aggarwal and Raj Kumar Pandey and the CBI could present its stand when these are heard. “Thus, the matter is still alive and the opportunity for CBI to present its case before the Supreme Court is not entirely lost.”

“It would be advisable for the CBI to canvass its stand as a respondent in the pending matters, rather than take the risk of filing its own SLP at this highly belated stage. A dismissal of its SLP could well prejudice its stand even as a respondent in the appeals already pending in the Supreme Court,” he said.

Aggarwal’s plea had come up for hearing before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on January 16. The bench asked the petitioner to first explain how a third party could intervene and get a criminal case reopened.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. Kim Sharma
    Jan 30, 2018 at 1:27 pm
    Mitron, My report card of the last 4 years 7) Body count of Indian soldiers mounts to unprecedented levels as they fall to enemy bullets on LoC daily 8) China's army settles down along Indian borders and intrudes into Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand Dollar crisis is not resolved, though govt made a bid to mislead us 9) Sri Lankan Navy and Coast Guard still harasses, arrests and kills Indian fishermen, especially those from Tamilnadu 10) Bothches up Aadhaar project to such an extent that people lose faith in it and deems it as a harassment scheme like demonetization 11) Presents badly framed good and services tax rules that create havoc among businessmen, 12) Failure to help Indians in captivity in Pakistan jails, 13) Spoils social harmony as country witnesses Jungle Raj 14) Major caste groups revolt in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra Haryana, 15) once peaceful states are now periodically in grip of violence
    (5)(0)
    Reply
    1. Srinivas Prasad K
      Jan 30, 2018 at 1:11 pm
      yesterday on a news channel there was a statistics that Governments have filed maximum cases before courts i.e, about 80 of cases are filed by the governments. And then the next piece of statistics is even more alarming. The government's winning ratio is less than 20 . That means 64 of pending cases before different courts are because of Governments which are bound to be lost. In this context the comments of the AG are most welcome and is a reform measure in the right direction
      (1)(0)
      Reply
      1. Kim Sharma
        Jan 30, 2018 at 1:31 pm
        Mitron, My report card of the last 4 years 16) Mayhem in Haryana as CM Khattar becomes the synonym for poor administrative and leadership skills, 17) Increasing incidents of rape in BJP-ruled states, particularly Haryana, UP and Rajasthan. 18) Godmen who are close to Hindutva (anti-hindu) brigade abuse women as they lose fear of police and administration 18) Hindus themselves are unsafe as dalits are under siege no end to attacks on dalits, especially in BJP-ruled states 19) Education suffers as college campuses erupt in violence as anti-hindu Hindutva brigade target students for not toeing their line on multiple non-academic issues, 20) Mysterious death or disappearance of Dalit and Muslim students. Role of anti-hindu ABVP goons are suspected 21) Harassment, arrest and killing of writers, judges, intellectuals and journalists who don't favour the anti-hindu brigade or its leaders 22) Looting, murder or assault of labourers/traders on charges of cow smuggling across the country
        (5)(0)
        Reply
      2. Kim Sharma
        Jan 30, 2018 at 1:06 pm
        Another slap in the face of the govt. The issue is being kept alive for political gains by BJP. Court should order seizure of money from litigants with vested interests. So far it has been proved that graft charges against Congress leaders were just figments of imagination. They were hyped by angry media houses to favour parties they favoured. Clean and efficient Congress vs Corrupt and inept BJP is our choice.
        (6)(0)
        Reply
        1. Sudarshan Nityananda
          Jan 30, 2018 at 12:37 pm
          There is nothing in it anyway, why waste time ? The CBI is just being goaded on by BJP troublemakers who want to keep the court's busy , so they can raise a hue and cry prior to elections.
          (6)(0)
          Reply
          1. Raghuraman C N
            Jan 30, 2018 at 11:26 am
            The SLP may be a bad idea according to Venugopal. CBI must give it a try. Let the court decide. It is a huge case of national importance
            (0)(1)
            Reply
            1. Sudarshan Nityananda
              Jan 30, 2018 at 12:41 pm
              ACtually what was and is of national importance is that the Bofors gun was one of the best in the world and in 1999 literally saved Vajpayee's re tion and skin during the Kargil action. The bribe takers have died long ago and nothing is left in the case. A second point of national importance is that Bofors gave us all the production and design drawings, using which we have developed a better version of the gun , with 45 kms range. We should focus on such tech achievements rather than spend time with lawyers and judges.
              (1)(0)
              Reply
              1. Kim Sharma
                Jan 30, 2018 at 1:10 pm
                Mitron, My report card of the last 4 years: 1) Almost all sectors of economy are in shambles meanwhile desperate efforts to up statistics continue 2) So pathetic in terms of job creation that govt desperately inflates employment figures by adding even pakoda sellers and sectors hitherto never part of labour data 3) Kashmir has been messed up to such an extent that the valley witnessed unrest for months. (Earlier, the situation was very much under control as was proved by increasing tourist visits to Kashmir in the last decade.) 4) Make- in-India scheme flops 5) Fails to execute major defence deals, though bolstering defence was a much-trumpeted pre-poll gimmick 6) Poor execution of demonetization scheme helps tax evaders to turn black money into white 5) Pak firing on Kashmir border is a daily affair since the beginning of Modi govt. (Border attacks is frequent once Modi took over in Delhi, proving his poor chowkidari skills) 6) Failure to capitalize on surgical strikes.
                (4)(0)
                Reply
              2. Load More Comments