The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the agency was not allowed by the authorities to appeal against the Delhi High Court’s clean chit to Hinduja brothers in connection with the Bofors scam, reported The Times of India. The report, however, did not specify what authorities had prevented them from doing do. The Hinduja family runs a conglomerate based in Britain, which owns companies including Ashok Leyland, IndusInd bank and Gulf Oil Corporation Ltd.

When the court asked whether the notice issued to the brothers – Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand Hinduja – in 2005 was served to them, the agency said it did not have the information about that.

The court had granted permission to a private petitioner, who is also a lawyer, to appeal against the high court order in the absence of the CBI challenging the verdict. However, on Thursday, the petitioner was not present in the court either.

The matter was last heard in 2010. The bench listed it for hearing next in January.

The scam dates back to 1980s and 1990s when the Congress was in power with Rajiv Gandhi as prime minister. The government of India had signed a $1.4 billion (Rs 9,568 crore approximately) defence deal with Swedish arms manufacturer Bofors for 410 field howitzer guns, and a supply contract. Senior Congress politicians were were found guilty of receiving kickbacks for the deal. Gandhi was also implicated in the case.