Rejecting the Central Bureau of Investigation's plea, the Supreme Court on Monday gave a major relief to the three Europe-based Hinduja brothers by permitting them to travel abroad till the trial court decided the Bofors payoff case against them.
Making absolute an interim order of the court, a bench comprising Justice S Rajendra Babu and Justice G P Mathur rejected the plea of the CBI to revive the court's earlier order by which they were allowed to go abroad in rotation as one of them was directed to be in India at all points of time.
In its earlier interim order allowing the three brothers to be abroad at the same time, the apex court had said that they should be present before the trial court as and when their presence in the trial proceedings was required.
Acceding to the request of senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, the bench ordered: "The present arrangement shall continue to operate until the special judge disposed of the trial of the case."
The three brothers -- Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand -- had been chargesheeted by the CBI for receiving commission from a Swedish company in the supply of Bofors 155mm Howitzer field guns almost 17 years back.
The trial of the case has not been proceeding at present as the Delhi high court is seized of a petition by the Hindujas challenging the framing of charges against them in the case. They have also sought quashing of the charge-sheet against them on the ground of inordinate delay in its filing.
Complete coverage of the Bofors case