Moving to reopen litigation in the Bofors scandal twelve years after the Delhi High Court quashed all proceedings against the Hinduja brothers in the case, the CBI has sought government permission to challenge the 2005 ruling in the Supreme Court. In a letter to the government, the CBI has sought permission to file a Special Leave Petition against the High Court ruling. This will effectively overturn the stand taken by the then UPA government.
As reported by The Indian Express on September 2, the CBI, in a June 22 note to the Central Agency Section of the Department of Legal Affairs (Ministry of Law and Justice), stated that it did not file the SLP since it did not get permission from the then “competent authority”. Also Read: Bofors scam: Smriti Irani asks Congress to come clean on involvement of its leaders
“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.
The CBI also disclosed this to a sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament looking into the Bofors scandal.
On Wednesday, Union Minister Smriti Irani, mounting an attack on the Congress and the Gandhis, asked the party to come clean on the alleged involvement of its leaders in the Bofors scam. She sought a clarification from the Congress on the interviews given by private detective Michael Hershman who purportedly stumbled upon a Swiss bank account where the alleged Bofors bribe money was said to have been parked.
The CBI too Wednesday said it would look into the “facts and circumstances” of the Bofors scam mentioned by Hershman.
On May 31, 2005, Justice R S Sodhi had quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers —Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company and pulled up the CBI for its handling of the case.