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Bofors pay-off case: CBI moves SC against HC order quashing charges against accused

On May 31, 2005, the Delhi High Court had discharged all accused, including Europe-based industrialists Hinduja brothers, of all charges from the Bofors pay-off case.

Bofors pay-off case: CBI moves SC against HC order quashing charges against accused

New Delhi: In a major development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging a 2005 order of the Delhi High Court quashing all charges against those accused in the politically-sensitive Rs 64-crore Bofors pay-off case.

According to reports, the central probe agency today filed the appeal against the May 31, 2005, decision of the high court by which all the accused persons, including Europe-based industrialists Hinduja brothers, were discharged from the case.

The filing of the appeal assumes significance as recently Attorney General K K Venugopal had advised against going for the petition after 12 years of delay.

However, the PTI quoted sources as saying that the law officers after consultation were in favour of the appeal as the CBI placed some important documents and evidence to challenge the high court order. 

Venugopal had told the government that the CBI should not file a special leave petition (SLP) in the Bofors case against 2005 Delhi High Court judgment discharging Hinduja brothers.

In a letter, Venugopal had suggested to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should not file SLP as it is likely to be dismissed.

In his letter addressed to the DoPT Secretary, Venugopal had said, "Now, more than 12 years have elapsed. 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 long delay itself."

"CBI should present its stand in a similar case pending before the apex court in which the agency is also a party," Venugopal had written in the letter.

The DoPT had sought a legal opinion from the Attorney General on the CBI's request that it be allowed to file the SLP, the sources said.

The CBI, however, said that it wanted to file an SLP challenging the Delhi High Court order of May 31, 2005, quashing all charges against Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the Bofors case.

The CBI had on January 22, 1990, registered an FIR for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then President of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadha and the Europe-based industrialists the Hindujas.

(With PTI inputs)