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Bofors case 'buried'; CBI fails to appeal
September 16, 2005 18:43 IST
Last Updated: September 16, 2005 19:23 IST
With the Central Bureau of Investigation failing to file an appeal before the Supreme Court before the end of the deadline, the Bofors case - that had shaken up the nation - received a quiet burial on Friday.
The last date to challenge the judgement of the Delhi high court, which had discharged the accused in Bofors case 90 days ago, ended on Friday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party reacted vehemently to the development, and criticised the government saying that the United Progressive Alliance government was being used to target political rivals.
BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley said: "A case of corruption which shook the conscience of entire nation had been allowed a burial without testing the correctness of the judgements (May 31, 2005 and February 2004) before the Supreme Court."
He said that even the February 2004 judgement of the high court went 'unchallenged'.
The 18-year old politically sensitive Bofors payoff case virtually collapsed with the Delhi high court on May 31 quashing all charges against Europe-based three Hinduja brothers citing inability of the CBI to produce originals of Swiss documents on which it had based the case.
Jaitley said never before the autonomy of CBI was eroded so vitally than in the past 16 months of the UPA government.
Meanwhile, CBI sources said the agency was still confident that it would receive the nod from the Government and would later approach the apex court with an appeal for condonation of the delay.
The sources said the CBI had sent the draft of the Special Leave Petition to the Law Minsitry a long time back, as it was mandatory for the agency to seek Government's nod for approaching the apex court.
When asked whether it was legally possible to approach the apex court after the delay, the CBI sources said it was possible within the ambit of the law, as the agency could always tag along another appeal, seeking condonation of the delay over filing the SLP.
The Delhi High Court had on May 31, quashed all charges against the three Europe-based Hinduja brothers and Bofors company and castigated the CBI for its handling of the 18-year-old case, saying it had cost the exchequer Rs 250 crore.
The CBI has also begun an in-house exercise to ascertain how much of money had been spent on the Rs 64 crore Bofors payoff case.