SC dismisses CBI plea in Bofors case, cites inordinate delay

Petition against Hinduja brothersSC dismisses CBI plea in Bofors case, cites inordinate delay

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain the CBI’s Special Leave Petition problem May 31, 2005, Delhi High Court order quashing charges against the Hinduja brothers in the Bofors case, citing “inordinate delay”,

A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices K M Joseph and Hemant Gupta said, “We are not convinced with the grounds given by the petitioner for the inordinate delay of 4522 days in filing the present Special Leave Petitions.”

The CBI is still a party in the different appeal filed by advocate Ajay K Agrawal challenging the Delhi High Court order.

The SC bench took note of this and observed, “We have noticed that in the criminal appeal filed against the very same order by the complainant the petitioner herein – i.e. Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – is a party and would be heard in the said appeal…. We, therefore, are not inclined to entertain the present Special Leave Petitions.”

The court has already confirmed Agrawal’s petition.

Attorney General K K Venugopal requested the court to justification in the order that the SC turning down the SLP would not preclude the probe agency from carrying out the investigation in the case.

The major court did not cede to the request.

In January this year, Venugopal had advised against the CBI going in appeal, saying it may be dismissed on the matter of delay.

In 2005, the Delhi HC had taken all charges against brothers S P Hinduja, G P Hinduja and P P Hinduja and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Earlier, on February 4, 2004, the HC had exonerated Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed framing of forgery charge under Section 465 of IPC against Bofors company.

The Rs 1,437-crore deal between India and Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 units of 155 mm Howitzer guns for the Indian Army was entered into on March 24, 1986.

A political storm erupted after Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987, claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defense personnel to secure the deal.

On January 22, 1990, the CBI registered a case for alleged offenses of criminal conspiracy, cheating, and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then president of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda, and the Hinduja brothers.

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