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Bofors Case petitioner receives death threat, FIR lodged

By Ujwal Jalali
New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) The petitioner in the politically-sensitive three-and-a-half-decade old Bofors scam case, Ajay Kumar Agarwal, has claimed that he received death threat from unknown persons for seeking an early hearing in the special leave petition filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2018.

Accordingly, the Delhi Police have registered an FIR under Section 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Agarwal told IANS that a letter, without any address of the sender, was dropped at his residence on December 31.

"When I opened the letter, I found it to be an extremely serious life threatening letter written in Hindi," he said.

In the letter, Agarwal was warned of dire consequences if he continues to pursue the case.

The petitioner had filed an application in the Supreme Court on December 24 and sought an early hearing in the Bofors scam case.

Agarwal, in his plea, said that there has been a recurrence of scams in the defence sector since the accused in this first ever scam have not been punished. Some of these scams are AgustaWestland Chopper Scam, Scorpene Submarine Scam, Barak Missile Deal etc., he said.

"It is expedient in the interest of justice that the matter be heard at an early date," he said.

On February 2, 2018, CBI had filed a special leave petition in the CBI vs Srichand P. Hinduja & Ors. case after more than 12 years of Delhi High Court order.

The plea filed by Agarwal on December 24 said that this is one case in the history of independent India "wherein Gandhi family-run Central governments have been trying to scuttle the investigation and misleading the courts and abusing the judicial process".

"Even the senior law officers of the government, including Attorney General of India, Solicitor General of India and Additional Solicitor Generals were giving solicited opinions and trying their best to save the accused person," the plea said.

Agarwal further said the accused persons got the kickbacks out of payment towards the purchase of Bofors guns, which is hard-earned money of the poor people of the Country.

"Much evidence is on record that one of the accused, namely Ottavio Quattrocchi, was very close to Sonia Gandhi and other family members," it read.

"This case has to be decided and the guilty be punished so that it would have a deterrent effect on the society and such type of criminal acts be not repeated in future, like the AgustaWestland which also occurred with the same modus operandi," it added.

Had the Bofors scam did not happen, the country would have acquired Sofma guns manufactured by the French government which were far better than Bofors, Agarwal wrote in his application.

"The senior most officers of the Army preferred Sofma over Bofors since it had a better shooting range of 29 km while Bofors had only 21 km. And these were cheaper in cost than Bofors," the plea noted.

(Ujwal Jalali can be reached at )