New Delhi: The final hearing in the Bofors case will commence in the second week of October, the Supreme court said on Friday. BJP leader and advocate Ajay Kumar Agarwal had filed a plea for an early hearing. He had challenged the Delhi High Court May 31, 2005, judgement quashing all charges against the Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra is scheduled to take up the plea. The apex court had on October 18, 2005 admitted his petition which was filed after the CBI failed to approach the top court with the appeal within the 90-day deadline following the High Court verdict.
The hearing assumes significance in the wake of a demand in Parliament by ruling BJP MPs for reopening of the probe into the Bofors kickback scandal after the media reports quoting Swedish chief investigator Sten Lindstrom's suggested the alleged bribery at the top level.
Agarwal, who had contested the Rai Bareli Lok Sabha elections in 2014 against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, had said he will also draw the attention of the apex court that he had written a letter to the Enforcement Directorate seeking investigation into the trail of the kickback money under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
Justice R S Sodhi of the Delhi High Court, since retired, had on May 31, 2005 quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers -- Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand -- and the Bofors company and castigated the CBI for its handling of the case saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore.
Before the 2005 verdict, another judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice J D Kapoor (since retired) on February 4, 2004, had exonerated late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed framing of charge of forgery under Section 465 of IPC against the Bofors company.