A parliamentary panel on Wednesday emphasised the need for a legislative review to shield the Central Bureau of Investigation from political obstruction in the Bofors case. It also urged the agency to investigate the matter without “fear or favour”, PTI reported.
A sub-panel of the Public Accounts Committee headed by Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab is looking into the non-compliance of certain aspects of the Comptroller and Auditor General’s reports from 1989 and 1990. The panel adopted the draft report at a meeting on Wednesday.
The CAG reports on Bofors is the oldest pending matter before the parliamentary panel, whose primary role is to examine audit reports after they are placed in Parliament. The report will now be sent for approval to the main committee, which Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge heads.
The report was delayed by nearly 27 years as the Ministry of Defence had not submitted notes about the action it had taken, an unidentified member of the sub-committee told PTI.
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. The Bofors scandal had caused a massive political maelstrom and led to the fall of the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1989 as questions were raised about alleged payment of kickbacks in the procurement of Howitzer artillery guns.