The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Bharatiya Janata Party leader and advocate Ajay Aggarwal to explain his locus standi in filing an appeal that challenged a 2005 Delhi High Court order quashing charges against the Hinduja brothers in the Bofors pay-off scam, ANI reported.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, which has conducted an inquiry into the case, had not challenged the High Court order within the 90-day period in 2005. However, Aggarwal had filed an appeal in his personal capacity. It was accepted by the top court on October 18, 2005.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the BJP leader to convince it how a person who is not party in the matter can seek reopening of a criminal case, The Indian Express reported. The court will hear the case again on February 2.

The Bofors scandal

The scam dates back to 1980s and 1990s when the Congress was in power with Rajiv Gandhi as the prime minister. The Indian government 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 in March 1986.

In April 1987, the Swedish Radio had claimed that the company paid bribes to senior Indian politicians and Army personnel to secure the deal. Gandhi was also implicated in the case.

In 1990, the CBI registered a First Information Report for criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code, as well as for corruption, against Martin Ardbo, who was then the president of Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and the Hinduja brothers. The first chargesheet was filed in the case in 1999. A special CBI court in Delhi had in 2011 discharged Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the case.