SC refuses to entertain CBI petition in Bofors case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition challenging a 2005 High Court verdict in the Bofors case.

The petition was dismissed as the appeal is time-barred, the court said.

The CBI, which is the prosecuting agency in the case, failed to file an appeal before the apex court within the stipulated 90 days time period after the Delhi High Court’s 2005 judgment in which it had discharged Hinduja brothers in the Bofors payoff case.

The Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, said that since an appeal against the same court judgment filed by advocate Ajay Aggarwal is pending, the CBI can raise all its grounds and objections to the closure of the Bofors case when Agrawal’s appeal is taken up.

Commenting on the court’s refusal to entertain the appeal filed by the CBI, Supreme Court lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ajay Aggarwal, said that the court did not comment on the merits of the case and only pointed out the inordinate delay while refusing the petition.

Aggarwal is also a petitioner in another Bofors pay off case which he had filed ahead of the CBI against the same Delhi High Court verdict. His Special Leave Petition (SLP) was admitted by the apex court and a further hearing is pending on the same.

Sharing details of today’s decision and its connection with his case, Aggarwal told ANI, “CBI always works under the order of the central government. At that time the government was of UPA and the UPA did not give CBI permission to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) at that time. Hence, as a third party and a private citizen, I filed a petition in public interest. The SC admitted my SLP and it became a criminal appeal. When the CBI was going to file an SLP, I wrote a letter to the attorney general and CBI director that it will delay the things further and the Supreme Court may not accept it on account of inordinate delay.”

“CBI is already a fourth respondent in my petition; they have to file a reply and a number of documents in my case,” he added.

Aggarwal further highlighted that the CBI can file the papers in his petition and the same will be listed for hearing by the apex court in the near future.

“They are already a party in my criminal appeal which is Ajay Aggarwal vs Union of India which is pending since 2005. The court has directed them to file the papers in that petition and the matter will be heard by Supreme Court as early as possible,” he said.

On October 12, the hearing of the Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case in the Supreme Court was surprisingly deleted from the top court’s cause list late on the previous day’s evening.