The Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI informed a parliamentary panel today that the politically-sensitive Rs. 64 crore Bofors pay-off case is likely to be reopened.
The CBI has replied to a parliamentary committee, most members of which had recommended that the agency reinvestigate the Bofors case and bring it before the Supreme Court.
The CBI has indicated that it can support the Special Leave Petition pending in the Supreme Court.
The Rs. 1,437 crore deal between India and the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm Howitzer guns for Indian Army was entered on March 24, 1986.
On January 22, 1990 the FIR has been registered by CBI for the alleged offence of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery under the IPC and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then President of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and Hinduja brothers.
Private persons and Certain public servants in India and abroad had alleged that had entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1982 and 1987 in pursuance of which the offences of corruption, cheating, bribery and forgery were committed to the extent of Rs. 64 crore in the contracts for the supply of Bofors guns.
On October 22, 1999 the first charge sheet in the case was filed against Mr Chadda, Mr Quattrocchi, then Defence Secretary SK Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company. A supplementary charge sheet against Hinduja brothers was filed on October 9, 2000.
In Delhi On March 4, 2011, a special CBI court had discharged Mr Quattrocchi from the case saying the country cannot afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which has already cost Rs. 250 crore.
Ottavio Quattrocchi, who had fled from New Delhi on July 29-30, 1993, has never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution. He died on July 13, 2013. The other accused persons who have died are Mr Bhatnagar, Mr Chadda and Mr Ardbo.
The Delhi High Court of Justice RS Sodhi had on May 31, 2005 quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers -- Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand.
Another judge of the Delhi High Court, Before the 2005 verdict, Justice JD Kapoor (since retired) on February 4, 2004, had exonerated late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed framing of charge of forgery under Section 465 of the IPC against the Bofors company.