Just days after Attorney General KK Venugopal advised the Government against an appeal in Supreme Court in the Bofors case, the CBI has filed an appeal in the apex Court against a 12-year-old high court order (2005) cancelling charges in the Bofors case against UK-based industrialists, the Hinduja brothers, and the Swedish firm (Bofors).
You may ask: An appeal after 17 years?
Yes, it is being reported that Mr. Venugopal probably changed his mind after he was shown fresh documents related to the matter.
The Supreme Court has accepted the appeal and the hearing will start in October 2018.
That said, if the Supreme Court of India sees merit in it, then let us welcome it.
But let’s hope it will put an end to the Bofors case once and for all. It must be noted that the 32 year old Rs. 64 crore Bofors bribery case has already costed the country Rs. 250 crores in investigation and legal fees. If its price in terms of distraction from more pressing issues is calculated, then the cost to the country may go into Lakhs of crores. This is an important distinction as even in the latest appeal, CBI is just a respondent in the case which is filed by Ajay Kumar Agrawal, a BJP member and advocate.
It would have been good, if the Supreme Court had started the hearings as early as possible. October 2018 will coincide with many important events. The Government’s final report card and Lok Sabha Elections can be one of them.