New Delhi: The crucial hearing of the Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case will not take place in the Supreme Court on Friday as it was surprisingly deleted from the top court’s cause list late on Thursday evening. The apex court was to hear the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) appeal challenging the Delhi High Court’s 2005 judgment discharging the Hinduja brothers in the Bofors pay-off case. Till Thursday afternoon, it was listed for a scheduled hearing on Friday as item number 43 in Court number 8 before a bench comprising Justice R Banumathi and Justice Indira Banerjee.
Supreme Court lawyer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ajay Agrawal, who had also filed an appeal in the case against the Delhi High Court’s verdict, was also not mentioned for the hearing in the apex court’s cause list. Reacting to the deletion of the Bofors case hearing from the top court’s cause list, Agrawal told ANI, “I am surprised to know that the case is not listed for hearing tomorrow. It was earlier scheduled for a hearing on Friday as item number 43 in Court number 8. But I was told by a top court official late on Thursday evening that it has been deleted by an administrative order.” He added, “It is a very sensitive case and this includes the appeal filed by the CBI. I myself should have been heard by the Supreme Court tomorrow.” The CBI, which is the prosecuting agency in the case, failed to file an appeal before the apex court within the stipulated 90-day time period after the Delhi High Court’s May 2005 judgment had discharged Hinduja brothers in the Bofors payoff case.