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Rediff.com  » News » BJP demands SIT probe in Bofors case

BJP demands SIT probe in Bofors case

January 03, 2011 22:15 IST
As an income tax tribunal on Monday said Rs 41 crore as commission were paid to late Win Chaddha, an agent of the Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors, and Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochchi in the gun deal, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday condemned Congress President Sonia Gandhi's plan to fight graft and demanded a Special Investigative Team to look afresh at the whole issue saying there should be no cover-up.

"Ironically, for Sonia Gandhi this is a timely reminder that you do not need five points to fight corruption. You need just one point and that is to start sending the guilty to jail. And don't cover-up," Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told mediapersons.

He was referring to Gandhi's recent five-point suggestion to her party members at the Congress plenary at Burari in New Delhi to fight corruption. The government is also said to be mulling over bringing a legislation in this regard.

Jaitley alleged the Central Bureau of Investigation, which was investigating the Bofors pay-off case and said no kickbacks had been paid, cannot be entrusted with the inquiry into this matter and so a SIT should be formed for this purpose. "This is not a case of bribery alone. It was a colossal fraud," he said, wondering how CBI has not indicted Chaddha and Quattrochi while the income tax tribunal had found the former guilty.

The senior BJP leader maintained that the tribunal order was a case of "discovery of truth by default". "This is the power of truth. We have always believed that truth has a very uncanny and inconvenient habit of coming out. The more you suppress it, the more it comes out. Truth also is very tenacious. You can't keep it out for very long," Jaitley said.

BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the tribunal's revelations have put the Congress and the CBI in an embarrassing position. "Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh should explain why CBI closed the case against Quattrochchi."

The Congress also came under the fire of the Communist Party of India. Referring to the tribunal's order, CPI national secretary D Raja said, "This is a serious revelation and the Government of India must take cognisance of it and take proper action."

However, senior Congress leaders said that they party is not worried about the development as none of its leaders were party to the deal.

With inputs from PTI 
Onkar Singh in New Delhi