On Tuesday, Justice A. M. Khanwilkar of the Supreme Court recused himself from the Bofors payoff case. A Bench was constituted for this politically sensitive case headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra. Khanwilkar who was originally part of the Bench opted himself out of the case without a clear reason.
The Bench also includes Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, who said a new Bench would be constituted soon. The next hearing on the Rs. 64 crores Bofors case will be held on the 28th of March. The Court will hear a petition filed by the BJP leader Ajay Agarwal. The BJP Leader’s petition challenges the 2005 High Court’s decision to clear all the charges on those accused in the case.
Bofors is a Swedish arms company who struck a deal with India 30 years ago. In 1986 the Government of India and Bofors made a multi million dollar contract. The contract was for the Swedish company to supply 410 155mm Howitzer field guns for the Indian Army. The next year news emerged that the Swedish company bribed top Indian politicians and key defence officials to confirm the deal.