The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to re-open Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case, said report.
The development comes a week after an application was moved in the Supreme Court seeking early hearing of the politically- sensitive case.
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.
Ruling BJP MPs had in Parliament demanded for reopening of the probe into the Bofors kickback scandal after the media reports quoting Swedish chief investigator Sten Lindstrom’s suggested payment of alleged bribery at the top level.
According to NDTV, the investigation agency has informed a parliamentary panel and indicated that it can support the Special Leave Petition pending in the Supreme Court.
The plea filed in Supreme court by the BJP leader and advocate Ajay Agrawal has also alleged apparent collusiveness by CBI with the accused persons in the Bofors scam, saying the agency did not challenge the Delhi High Court’s May 31, 2005 judgement quashing all charges against the Europe-based Hinduja brothers.
The Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987 had claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel.
The first charge sheet in the case was filed on October 22, 1999 against alleged middleman Win Chadda, Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, then Defence Secretary S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company. A supplementary charge sheet against Hinduja brothers was filed on October 9, 2000.
A special CBI court in Delhi On March 4, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi from the case saying the country cannot afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which has already cost Rs 250 crore.
Quattrocchi, who had fled from here on July 29-30, 1993, has never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution. He passed away on July 13, 2013. The other accused persons who have died are Bhatnagar, Chadda and Ardbo.