Officials said agency was denied permission by then Cong-led govt to appeal against HC order
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is likely to supportapetitionintheSupremeCourt forreopeningtheBoforspayoffcase, has told a parliamentary panel that it wants to take the matter to its “final and logical conclusion”.
Top officials at the probe agency conveyed this position earlier this week to a sub-committee on defence attached to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The six-member panel had last month sought CBI’s stance on reopening of the case. It is looking into what is seen as non-compliance of certain aspects of a 1986 Comptroller and Auditor General report on India’s howitzer deal with Bofors. India signs an agreement with Swedish firm Bofors for a $1.5 billion supply order for 155 mm howitzers
Reports claim kickbacks paid to Indian officials and politicians to bag the deal as part of a larger investigation into Bofors operations worldwide. Within days, PM Rajiv Gandhi says no kickbacks paid, takes stand that deal is clean
The CBI brass had in January this year decided to support the petition by BJP member and advocate Ajay Aggarwal to reopen the case, ET reported on Friday. The Gandhi led Cong govt loses the Lok Sabha polls
Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, accused in the case, leaves India
Formal case registered into the Bofors scandal by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Swiss accounts of accused frozen Top government sources told ET that the agency told the parliamentary panel that it was more than willing to reopen the case. The CBI also claimed that it had properly CBI files first chargesheet, naming Rajiv Gandhi as one of the accused. Bofors allowed to bid for Indian contracts again
Quattrocchi dies in Milan. Most accused in the case now dead as the case drags on in the Supreme Court investigated the case, which had resulted in the framing of charges against the accused. The accused were discharged by the Delhi high court in May 2005.
CBI officials told the panel that the agency was denied permission by the then Congress-led government to appeal against the high court order. They said the agency will support the SLP seeking the reopening ofthecasewhenitcomesupforhearing. The Government of India is a necessary respondent in the petition and it has to convey its stand on the case in the Supreme Court. Government sources ET spoke to said it will support the demand to reopen the case.
Bofors hit national headlines in 1987. Accusations of bribes being paid for buying the Swedish a r t i l ler y g u n embroi le d t he then prime minister, late Rajiv Gandhi, and late Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi.
ET has seen CBI’s files and notings since 2005 on the issue, which show that in 2006, the then director of prosecution (DoP), the law official responsible for supervising and conducting the agency’s cases, had argued against filing an appeal against the high court order. This changed in January this year, when the DoP agreed with the agency’s top officers.