New Delhi: Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Ashu Garg on Tuesday adjourned hearing of the Bofors case till May 8, 2019 due to the unavailability of documents. BJP leader and advocate Ajay Agarwal had earlier challenged the Delhi High Court’s May 31, 2005 verdict which rejected all the charges against the accused including the Hinduja brothers, in the politically-sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case. The three Hinduja brothers — S P Hinduja, G P Hinduja and P P Hinduja — and others were charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In the month of November, the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected the CBI appeal which sought condonation of the 13-year delay in filing the appeal against the High Court’s verdict. The SC bench stated, “We are not convinced with the grounds furnished by the petitioner for the inordinate delay of 4,522 days in filing the present Special Leave Petitions.”
Advocate Ajay Agrawal had filed the appeal challenging the high court verdict. In December 2016, during the hearing of Agrawal’s appeal, the apex court had asked the CBI why it had not filed the appeal within the mandatory time limit of 90 days. The agency had said that it did not get the nod from the previous UPA government.
After the NDA government came to power, there were speculations that the CBI would take a call to either respond as a respondent in Agrawal’s petition or prefer a separate appeal.
After a lot of deliberation, the CBI this year got the nod from the NDA government to file an appeal in the apex court.
The filing of the appeal assumes significance as Attorney General of India KK Venugopal in January had advised the agency against moving a petition challenging the high court verdict after a delay of more than a decade.
(With Agency inputs)