Bofors case given a miss in CBI museum wall



New Delhi: The Bofors kickbacks scam may have been in news for over two decades now but it does not find a mention in the wall of CBI's newly set-up museum where information on crucial cases handled by the premier investigation agency are on display.

The CBI has exhibited highlights of 14 prominent cases in its museum section 'In the Service of Nation' right from Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay murder of 1968 to Satyam scam of 1999, but there is no mention of the Bofors case which rocked Indian polity in 1989 and has haunted Congress and Rajiv Gandhi's family since.

"Work is still in progress and more things, articles and displays will be added in due course," CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said when asked why the case was given a miss.

The 21-year old case relates to kickbacks received from powder manufacturer AB Bofors for winning a bid to supply India's 155 mm field howitzer, in which the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi among several other industrialists were initially made accused by the agency. The charges of bribery against Gandhi were later quashed by Delhi High Court.

The museum wall also mentions fodder scam in which the then Chief Minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav is an accused besides Telgi Stamp scam, IC-814 hijacking case, Babri Masjid demolition case, Bombay blasts case, Bhopal Gas leak case among others.

The museum, which is located in the new headquarters' building of the agency, has dedicated three big display boards showcasing the highlights of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case.

The case which was taken by CBI on May 23, 1991 was probed by the Special Investigation Team of the agency led by DR Karthikeyan saw conviction of all the 26 accused.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the new Headquarter building today and went straight to see the museum.

The museum, located on the sixth floor of the 11-storey new structure of concrete and glass, has some rare statues and snaps of items like sword of Tipu Sultan, paintings of Raja Ravi Verma, which were stolen and later recovered by the CBI.

PTI