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The 2005 Delhi high court had quashed all the charges against all accused named in the Bofor scam, including Europe-based industrialists, the Hinduja brothers.

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday (February 2) moved Supreme Court challenging a 12-year-old Delhi High Court order dismissing all charges against the Hinduja brothers in the politically-sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors payoff case.

The central investigating agency’s petition comes days after Attorney General K K Venugopal had advised the government against moving the petition in the apex court which was likely to be dismissed due to the long delay.

Earlier this week, CBI Director Alok Verma, additional director Rakesh Asthana along with Department of Personnel & Training secretary Ajay Mittal shared the Attorney General’s opinion with the Public Accounts Committee’s six-member sub-committee on defence. The committee, headed by Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, is looking into the non-compliance of aspects of a 1986 Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report on the controversial Bofors Howitzer gun deal.

The bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra is hearing a petition filed last year by BJP member and advocate Ajay Aggarwal. Venugopal had earlier advised the CBI to be a respondent in Aggarwal’s case.

A 2005 Delhi high court had quashed all the charges against all accused named in the Bofor scam, including Europe-based industrialists, the Hinduja brothers.

The CBI, which has been very keen to file an appeal in the matter, had earlier informed a parliamentary panel looking into the Bofors deal that the agency has enough evidence to file a Special Leave Petition before the court.

On January 22, 1990, the CBI had registered an FIR against Martin Ardbo, the then President of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadha and the Europe-based industrialists the Hindujas and charged the accused with criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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