Following the development of the CBI stating to the Rouse Avenue trial court in New Delhi its intention to begin trial in the decades-old Bofors case, Chitra Subramaniam has welcomed the move and has highlighted three major points related to the scandal.
On Wednesday, owing to Republic TV's interview with Michael Hershman - the first Bofors secret investigator, the CBI requested the Rouse Avenue trial court to formally write to the Supreme Court asking for the case files so that a trial can begin. In response, the court has said that it will first look into the legal aspects of doing so, and then decide on whether or not files from the apex court should be requested to decide on the facts of the matter. The case will be taken up for hearing on May 16.
Responding to the development, Chitra Subramaniam, who had investigated the Bofors-India Howitzer deal that took place during Rajiv Gandhi-led government said that Bofors was independent India' s biggest arms scandal.
She highlighted the following points:
- "The documentary evidence traces the bribe, Rajiv Gandhi was then the Prime Minister, he oversaw the cover-up, the cover-up was massive - it was in Sweden, it was in Switzerland, and it was in India. On the instruction of his government, the Swedish government did not move. The instruction to Swedish government to do nothing came from the office of Rajiv Gandhi. So there is an entire process there, there's documentary evidence of this," said Chitra Subramaniam.
- She added, "A close family friend of the Gandhis Ottavio Quattrocchi personally came, money was paid into his account and transferred to many places, and finally landed in London, from where he withdrew it when the Congress came to power, why Bofors paid Quattrocchi?"
- She also said, "It is also important to note that the company he represented AE Services came into the deal just two months before it was concluded and gave in writing that Bofors would get the deal. Nobody on earth can give in writing that this kind of deal will be given to them unless there is a political understanding."
- She pointed out: "In the interview with Sten Lindstrom, the police officer who led the investigations talked about a conversation between two late Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Olof Palme, where it was agreed that a certain amount of money will be paid to a foundation."
The proceedings on Wednesday in the Bofors case were in continuance of an application under section 173(A) that was filed on behalf of the CBI on February 1, 2018, when the agency had moved the Supreme Court challenging the 12-year-old Delhi High Court verdict closing the Bofors case regarding the 1986 deal between the then Rajiv Gandhi-led government of India and the Swedish company Bofors for the acquisition of 410 Howitzer field guns.
IMPACT: CBI Seeks Trial Court Records In Bofors Case From SC, Says New Developments Have Come To Light After Republic TV’s Michael Hershman Interview