Bofors and political play

The A-G had worried about the 12-year delay in challenging the high court verdict.

It is evident that the Narendra Modi government is seeking to keep the ancient Bofors case alive. Since the next Lok Sabha election is just a year away, perhaps the BJP thinks it can derive political mileage from the long-dead Bofors issue, at least as a talking point. Against the advice of Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal tendered last month, the CBI — regarded by many as the political vendetta wing of the government — decided last Friday to file a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court challenging the 2005 verdict of the Delhi high court which had given a clean chit to the Hinduja brothers. The A-G had worried about the 12-year delay in challenging the high court verdict. But the government’s real target would seem to be the long deceased former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was exonerated in 2004 in the alleged Bofors payoffs case which relates to the purchase of the Bofors howitzer gun in 1986.

The alleged payoff was Rs 64 crore. Since then the country has seen several governments opposed to the Congress, including the first BJP-led NDA regime of then PM Atal Behari Vajpayee. In filing the SLP, the CBI, which is under the Prime Minister, is relying on a recent interview of an American private investigator to an Indian television channel heavily tilted in favour of the government. The investigator in question suggests he has proof of wrongdoing by the late PM. Taking a cue from this, the CBI has said in its SLP that it needs to pursue the case in light of the leads offered by the US investigator.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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