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Supreme Court to examine validity of Bofors case closure by HC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to examine the validity of a 12-year-old Delhi High Court verdict closing the politically sensitive case relating to payoffs to middlemen in the purchase of Bofors howitzer guns for the Army in 1986.

Responding to a plea for early hearing by advocate Ajay Kumar Agrawal, on whose petition the SC had issued a notice on October 18, 2005, a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar posted the matter for hearing in the week commencing from October 30.

Agrawal’s petition was last listed for hearing before an SC bench on December 1, 2016, when the CBI had admitted that it was refused permission by the authorities concerned more than a decade ago to Appeal against the HC verdict discharging the Hinduja Brothers — Srichand, Prakashchand and Gopichand — from the case.

Govt didn’t let us appeal Bofors ruling in 2005, CBI told SC

On December 1 last year, Agrawal was not present in court when his petition was taken up for hearing. But giving a fresh twist to the case, in which the CBI had taken a regime sensitive stand, the petitioner was present on Friday and the CBI was represented by additional solicitor general Maninder Singh.

Before December 1 last year, Agrawal’s petition was last listed on August 12, 2010 for a hearing.

However, it is still not clear whether the notice issued to the Hinduja brothers on October 18, 2005 had been served on them or not.

On October 18, 2005, the court had allowed Agrawal to file an appeal against the HC judgment in the absence of such a plea by the CBI.

The HC had quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers and castigated the CBI for the manner in which it had handled the case and the accompanying media hype.

The HC judge had said, “Before parting, I must express my disapproval at the investigation that went on for 14 years… it cost the exchequer nearly Rs 250 crore.

A huge bubble was created with the aid of the media which, however, when tested by the court, burst, leaving behind a disastrous trail of suffering.

Careers, both political and professional, were ruined besides causing huge economic loss. Many an accused lived and died with stigma. It is hoped that this elite investigating agency will be more responsible in future.”

Immediately after the HC discharged the Hinduja brothers and castigated the CBI, a senior investigating officer associated with the case had made a file noting that an appeal should be filed against the HC decision urgently.

But the UPA government decided not to file an appeal and the CBI’s director of prosecution had made a noting on the file saying the HC view reflected the correct position of law.

However, with the NDA government coming to power, the CBI last year decided to take the stand in the SC that though it had planned to file an appeal 2005, it was not permitted to do so by those who mattered in the government then.

Source : timesofindia



This post first appeared on Daily Kiran, please read the originial post: here

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Supreme Court to examine validity of Bofors case closure by HC

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