Thursday, October 25, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bofors accused Win Chadha dead
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 24
Unable to unite with his family in Dubai, Wineshwar Nath Chadha, more known as Win Chadha, breathed his last here late last night.

Facing a trial along with the Hinduja brothers in the controversial Bofors gun deal, Win Chadha died following a cardiac arrest. The cremation is expected to take place here tomorrow.

He is survived by son Hersha Chadha, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

Win Chadha, 77, who had been afflicted with a number of diseases, including prostrate cancer and diabetes, breathed his last at about 00.15 a.m. at his farmhouse in Bijwasan in south Delhi.

The Indian agent for the AB Bofors, a Swedish company that supplied the 155 mm Howitzer guns to the Indian Army in 1986 and in which a payback of Rs 64 crore was alleged, had suffered a brain stroke on September 17 and was admitted to the super-speciality Batra Hospital.

A resident of Dubai for the past several years, he had recently applied to the special court, seeking permission to go back to Dubai to spend his last days with his family. Special Judge S.l. Khanna had kept the application pending till date.

He had said in the application that if his plea was rejected, he would be alone in his last days and would not be able to see his family again. He had stated that he wanted to wind up his business in Dubai and pointed out that the main ground on which his earlier application was opposed by the CBI had vanished after the signing of the extradition treaty between India and the UAE.

Win Chadha was chargesheeted by the CBI in October, 1999, along with former Defence Secretary S.K. Bhatnagar, Kuala Lumpur-based Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochhi, former Bofors chief Martin Ardbo and the company itself.

A year later, the probe agency also chargesheeted the Europe-based Hinduja brothers Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand in the case.

The case against Bhatnagar has abated after his death. Win Chadha had been accused of receiving a part of the Rs 64 crore kickback in the Rs 1437 crore deal signed in March for the supply of 400 155mm Howitzer field guns to India.

He came here from Dubai in March last year and was granted bail by the court but asked not to leave the country without its prior permission.

His plea to go to Dubai for treatment was rejected by the court and the High Court as well as the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the trial court order. However, he was exempted from personal appearance on health grounds till framing of charges.

Meanwhile, the CBI today asserted that the death of accused Win Chadha would not affect the ongoing proceedings of the Bofors case in a special court here. CBI spokesman S.M. Khan said the death of Chadha, former agent of the AB Bofors in India, would not substantially impact on the case. 

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