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Defence min to seek info from CBI in Bofors case

New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has decided to seek clarification from the CBI about whether the UPA government had prevented it from challenging the quashing of charge sheets in the Bofors case by the Delhi High Court in 2005.
In a letter to BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre has said he has referred the matter to "concerned agencies" for clarification so the information could be provided to him.
Dubey had raised the Bofors issue in the monsoon session of Parliament, and claimed the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and the Law Ministry under UPA had not allowed CBI to go in appeal against the HC judgement.
The BJP leader had also spoken about de-freezing of an account in London related to the Bofors deal, resulting in withdrawal of money the day the judgement was pronounced.
Dubey had urged the government to allow the CBI to approach the Supreme Court seeking reopening of the Bofors case.
The CBI had on January 22, 1990 registered an FIR for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indial Penal Code and sections of Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then President of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and Hinduja brothers.
The CBI had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in India and abroad had entered into a criminal conspiracy for the supply of Howitzer artillery guns and Rs 64 crore were paid in kickbacks to clinch the deal.
The first charge sheet was filed on October 22, 1999 against Chadda, Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian businessman who allegedly acted as conduit for payment of kickbacks, the then Defence Secretary S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company. A supplementary charge sheet against the UK based Hinduja brothers was filed on October 9, 2000.
Quattrocchi, who fled from here on July 29-30, 1993, never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution.
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