Early hearing of appeal in Bofors case sought in SC
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Last Updated: Thursday, October 08, 2009, 18:46
New Delhi: An application was on Thursday moved in the Supreme Court seeking an early hearing of an appeal filed against the Delhi High Court's verdict quashing all charges against Europe-based Hinduja Brothers in the Bofors pay-off case.

Advocate Ajay Agarwal, who challenged the May 31, 2005, decision of the High Court in the apex court after CBI failed to file the appeal within the mandatory 90-day period, sought an early hearing in the case on the ground that it has been pending for the last four years.

Justice R S Sodhi (since retired) had quashed the chargsheet filed by CBI against the Hinduja brothers -- S P Hinduja, G P Hinduja and P P Hinduja.

The advocate sought an early hearing of the appeal alleging that CBI has been in collusion with the accused in the case which became evident by the investigating agency's decison to seek withdrawal of the case against the Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi who is also an accused in the case.

"For the reasons showing apparent CBI collusiveness with the accused persons in Bofors scam and taking the plea of the High Court judgement gone unchallenged by CBI, it is expedient in the interest of justice that the matter be heard at an early date," Agrawal said in his apllication.

The application was moved a day before a trial court is to hear the application filed by the probe agency seeking to close the case against Quattrocchi.

In the last hearing on September 29, the government had informed the Supreme Court that it had decided to withdraw the case against Quattrocchi.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told the court that all efforts to extradite Quattrocchi, an accused in the two-decade-old case relating to payment of Rs 64 crore as commission in the Swedish Howitzer gun deal, have failed.

Quattrocchi, 69, is the sole accused in the case after the Delhi High Court had on May 31, 2005 quashed charges against the other accused. He has not appeared before Indian courts.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, October 08, 2009, 18:46

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