New Delhi, December 04: Delhi’s Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Ashu Garg has adjourned the hearing of the Bofors case to May 8, 2019. The matter has been deferred due to the unavailability of documents. Bharatiya Janata Party leader and advocate Ajay Agarwal had challenged the May 31, 2005 verdict of the Delhi High Court which quashed charges against the accused. On November 2, the Supreme Court dismissed the CBI's appeal against the Delhi High Court's 2005 verdict discharging all the accused, including Hinduja brothers, in the politically-sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected the CBI plea seeking condonation of the 13-year delay in filing the appeal against the May 31, 2005 judgement of the high court. The top court was not convinced with the grounds of the CBI to condone over 4,500 days' delay in filing the appeal. The CBI had filed the appeal on February 2 this year. The high court in its 2005 judgement had quashed all charges against the three Hinduja brothers -- S P Hinduja, G P Hinduja and P P Hinduja -- and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act. Justice Khanwilkar Recuses From Hearing Bofors Case in Supreme Court.
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. On April 16, 1987, Swedish Radio had claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel. The CBI on January 22, 1990, had registered the FIR for alleged offences 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.
(With inputs from PTI)