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Bofors case: PIL filed in SC
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, September 19
After the CBI failed to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against quashing of charges in the Rs 64 crore Bofors pay off case against Europe-based Hinduja brothers by the Delhi High Court, a public interest litigation (PIL) was today moved in the apex court seeking its permission to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the matter.

Since the CBI had failed to file the appeal within the stipulated deadline of September 17 against the High Court’s May 31 order, the PIL moved by advocate Ajay Agrawal said that he should be “granted special leave to appeal against the final judgement.”

In separate interim applications, moved along with the PIL, the petitioner sought stay of the High Court order and permission to place on record additional documents in the case.

Single Judge Bench of Mr Justice R S Sodhi of Delhi High Court on May 31 had quashed the charges against Hinduja brothers - Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand - at the stage of framing of the same on the ground that CBI had failed to submit the original documents relating to the Rs 1437 crore Bofors gun deal with Swedish arms manufacturers A B Bofors, signed by the Indian Government in March 1986.

Agrawal, in his petition, filed in the apex court registry today, said that the charges in the case were quashed merely on “technical grounds” that no original documents were placed on record by the CBI not because of the lack of evidence.

Still the government preferred to sit silently on the matter and not preferring to file an appeal in the apex court and allowed the mandatory period of moving the SLP lapse, he contended.

The petitioner claimed that the Law Ministry had not “given clearance to the CBI for filing the SLP while the agency had sent a draft for approval of the Ministry long back.”

Describing the Bofors case as symbol of corruption in Indian polity, the petitioner said it was “shocking” that the Law Ministry had refused to grant clearance to the CBI to challenge the High Court order in the apex court.

The petitioner further said that the CBI possessed “sufficient material” to sustain the case in the trial court even as the High Court had quashed the charges at the state of framing of the same without giving the prosecuting agency an opportunity to prove its case in the trial proceedings.

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