The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday withdrew its application from a Delhi court seeking permission to further investigate the Rs 64-crore Bofors payoff case, reported PTI.
The application was filed on February 1, 2018. At that time, the agency had claimed to have come across fresh material and evidence in the case.
On Thursday, the CBI told the court that it will decide on its course of action later. “For the reason best known to the CBI, in case they want to withdraw the application, they have the right as they are the applicants,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Navin Kumar Kashyap said, according to PTI.
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.
On February 2, 2018, the CBI filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the 2005 Delhi High Court order quashing charges against the accused in the Bofors pay-off scam.