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Bofors Case: Attorney General Advises CBI Against Appeal Of Acquittal

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| January 30 , 2018 , 08:50 IST

Attorney General K K Venugopal has reportedly advised the CBI against appealing the acquittal of the key accused in the Bofors case by the Delhi High Court in the Supreme Court, citing the more than 12-year delay since the acquittal announced in 2005.

"Any SLP [special leave petition] filed before the Supreme Court at this stage, in my view, is likely to be dismissed by the court on account of long delay itself. The record does not reveal any significant events or special circumstances which could be said to constitute sufficient cause for not approaching the SC within the 90 days permitted," said the AG.

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In May 2005, a year after the Congress-led UPA government came to power, the Delhi High Court acquitted the UK-based Hinduja brothers in the Bofors howitzer bribery case, which had been linked with the Congress party. Although the CBI had reportedly wanted to appeal soon after the case, no formal appeal was filed during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA government which remained in office till May 2014.  

In October 2017, the CBI sought permission from the government to re-open the Bofors case, challenging the 2005 ruling of the Delhi High Court.

Keeping in mind the change in the central government, AG Venugopal pointed out that if the CBI had wanted to appeal the HC ruling in the Bofors case, it could have done so before now since the NDA government had already been in power for the past 3 years.

"It is worth noting that the present government has been in position for more than three years now. In the circumstances, the long delay in approaching the court will be difficult to satisfactorily explain to the court," Venugopal said.