Updated: January 4, 2011 02:44 IST

Reopen Bofors probe: Jaitley

Special Correspondent
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Arun Jaitley said the Bofors case was not just one of bribes paid and received, but more importantly, there was a huge cover-up operation. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu Arun Jaitley said the Bofors case was not just one of bribes paid and received, but more importantly, there was a huge cover-up operation. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Cites order of Income Tax authorities on money trail to Win Chadha, Quattrocchi

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Monday demanded re-opening of criminal investigations into the 25-year-old Bofors case, citing the order of the Income Tax authorities who have detailed the money trail of kickbacks and commissions paid to Win Chadha and Ottavio Quattrocchi in the Howitzer deal.

He said the Bofors case was not just one of bribes paid and received, but more importantly, there was a huge cover-up operation. “I want to remind [Congress president] Sonia Gandhi that we do not need five points to fight corruption, but just one: send the corrupt to jail and do not cover up,” he said referring to Ms. Gandhi's speech at the All-India Congress Committee session last month.

The BJP leader explained that apparently son of the deceased Win Chadha had pleaded against an earlier demand (reported to be nearly Rs.53 crore) made against assessment of Chadha's income tax. That plea has now been dismissed and the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has pointed out that since kickbacks and commissions in the deal were held to be illegal, Chadha was not allowed to claim as expenses, any part of the commissions he received, and may have parted with to other partners in the deal like Mr. Quattrocchi.

First time

The Tribunal's decision came on December 31, 2010. This is the first time that a government agency has acknowledged that commissions and kickbacks were paid in the Bofors deal, Mr. Jaitley said.

Hitting out hard against the Central Bureau of Investigation for its “poor work” in the Bofors case, Mr. Jaitley said that it was odd that the CBI found no evidence of kickbacks. The Tribunal was able to demand tax on kickbacks paid and received.

“The CBI perpetuated a fraud at the behest of its political masters,” Mr. Jaitley said, without elaborating on what the CBI did between 1989 and 2004, when there were several non-Congress governments at the Centre, including BJP-led governments from 1998 to 2004.

“The truth has come out by default,” Mr. Jaitley said, adding that truth had an inconvenient habit of coming out into the open.

He added the resurrection of the Bofors ghost had come at a time when the Manmohan Singh government was already facing flak on the 2 G spectrum allocation scandal and the Commonwealth Games-related corruption.

On the Bofors issue, it was not enough for Win Chadha's heirs to pay the income tax due from them, but the CBI must reopen the criminal investigations in the case so that the guilty can be prosecuted, said Mr. Jaitley.

Keywords: Bofors case

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What's the use? With un-professional agencies like CBI, ED (who are slaves of Congress Party) and incompetent Courts and Justice system, we cannot expect protection to tax-payers' money.

from:  V B Dandapani
Posted on: Jan 4, 2011 at 21:51 IST

Once again the proverb you cannot fool all the people all the time has been proved right. Now it is better that Manmohan Singh Government resigns and seeks a fresh mandate as the Bofors case has seen the culmination of attempts to cover up murky deals. There are reports of files missing, onions rotting, a farce investigation in Spectrum 2G case and Commonwealth Games manipulations etc. We have had enough of the scandals. In the garb of fighting communalism, corruption has thrived.

from:  S.R. Muralidharan
Posted on: Jan 4, 2011 at 13:31 IST

Its been known since ages that CBI is influenced by the centre's interests. We all know that Bofors issue was a cover-up game. Every 5 years, we give our vote of favour and confidence to political parties expecting some hope for a better governance and transparency in its operations, it fails to live up. What makes the matter worse is that it becomes totally indifferent to people's interests and well being. Instead, the government is all busy fighting its own battle against corruption.

from:  Summi Tiwari
Posted on: Jan 4, 2011 at 12:51 IST

Jaitleys demand for reopening of Bofors case is nothing opening the Pandora Box and persons concerned are no more alive except some VVIP, who are the caretakers of the present government and His demand is nothing but Gimmick, when earlier seniors Leaders like Vajpai, LK Advani have not insisted earlier. Let Mr Jaitley do something useful to country in the present situation.

from:  Vaidya
Posted on: Jan 4, 2011 at 11:26 IST

The country may not have suffered as much on account of kick-backs in Bofors deal as it has been losing in terms of both money and mettle through the past years on probes.Above all our political parties like BJP,who people expected would do some good to help arrest the rising trend of day- to- day- need commodity prices,has been incurring huge loss of time in dis-intering the dead .Does that really serve ends of the poor of this country?For god's sake,dear MPs,use some time for alleviation of poverty of your countrymen rather than mere politiking!!!

from:  Muhammad Amin
Posted on: Jan 4, 2011 at 08:17 IST
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