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CBI files Supreme Court plea to revive Bofors case

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New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation moved the Supreme Court after 12 years challenging the Delhi high court order quashing the charges against the Hinduja brothers in the Rs 64-crore Bofors payoffs case.
The Delhi high court had in May 2005 quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company and criticised the CBI for its handling of the case, saying it had cost the exchequer Rs 250 crore.
During the last hearing before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud in the appeal filed by advocate Ajay Agrawal, the CBI did not say whether it would file an appeal or not.
In the meanwhile, attorney-general K.K. Venugopal had given an opinion that it was not desirable for the CBI to file an appeal after 12 years as the court might not entertain it on the grounds of delay. However, the CBI officials showed additional documents to the A-G to convince him of the need to file an appeal.
Highly-placed sources said the A-G gave his oral nod, paving the way for the CBI to file the appeal after over 12 years.
The petition by the CBI relies on a media interview by investigator Michael Hershman, who has given new information, which the CBI says must be probed and reopened.
Further, the Central investigating agency said the Delhi high court had rejected the agency’s evidence, relying on some Swedish documents. The high court was wrong in rejecting these documents, these were in the public domain and must be accepted, it claimed.
According to the CBI, Michael Hershman, the first secret investigator into the Bofors case, had revealed the truth for the first time in a television interview and had allegedly exposed former PM Rajiv Gandhi and the then Congress-led government.
Hershman had hinted that there were powerful politicians in India who risked being identified in the Bofors case. He further alleged that the Congress government had sabotaged his investigation.
Hershman, who is the president of US-based private detective firm Fairfax, had said Rajiv Gandhi was “furious when he found a Swiss bank account uncovered”. Mr Hershman has expressed willingness to testify and help the Indian agencies on the Bofors gun payoffs scandal, the CBI said in its appeal.


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Forces capable of giving befitting reply to those who cast evil eye on us: Rajnath

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New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said India has never been the aggressor but its armed forces are capable of giving a befitting reply to those who cast an evil eye on it.

The Navy has maintained vigilance to ensure that 26/11 is not repeated, Singh added while addressing the media at the Naval Commanders Conference. India, he said, has never been “offensive”.

“It’s character is such that it has not attacked any country nor conquered even an inch of land belonging to another nation. But the armed forces have the capability and strength to give a befitting reply to anyone who casts an evil eye on us,” the minister said.

 

He was responding to a query on Pakistan’s Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed reported statement that his country would retaliate against India with a nuclear attack for targeting Pakistani military posts in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tangadhar sector.

According to Indian Army officials, there was unprovoked firing by Pakistan in the sector on the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday. On Sunday, the Indian Army retaliated by launching heavy artillery attacks, targeting at least four terror camps and several Pakistani military positions opposite the Tangadhar sector along the Line of Control, officials said. Discussing the Indian

Navy, the defence minister said he was confident that India’s seas are safe in the hands of the force.

“Our Indian Navy’s resolve is that 26/11 will not be repeated under any circumstances and it has ensured tight vigil,” he said, referring to the November 2008 terror siege of Mumbai. The Indian

Navy is marching towards indigenisation and its ships have a high percentage of indigenous equipment, Singh added. The minister also said all three services have placed emphasis on the need to reduce defence imports.

“All the three forces are also working to pick up niche technologies to meet the challenges,” he said. The three-day second edition of Naval Commanders’ Conference began here on Tuesday. The conference is the apex level biannual event for interaction between Naval commanders for the deliberation and formulation of important policy decisions.

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Next war with indigenised weapons: Army chief

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New Delhi, Oct 15: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said the Defence Research and Development Organisation has made strides in ensuring that requirement of the country’s defence services are met through home-grown solutions, adding that the next war will be fought and won through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.

Speaking at the 41st DRDO Directors Conference, Rawat said: “The DRDO has made strides in ensuring that requirements of the services are met through home-grown solutions. We are confident that we will fight and win the next war through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.”

With a network of 52 laboratories, the government agency DRDO is charged with the military’s research and development covering various fields like aeronautics, land combat engineering, armaments, electronics, missiles, and naval systems.

 

The Army chief said that the Defence industry of India is a budding industry and the time has now come to look at the development of systems for future warfare and start preparing for “non-contact warfare.”

Rawat asserted that along with artificial intelligence, the future lies in the development of cyber, space technology, laser, electronic warfare and robotics.

“We are looking at systems for future warfare. We have to start looking at development of cyber, space, laser, electronic and robotic technologies and artificial intelligence,” he said.

The Army chief said that if the timeline between the design development and production of any weapon system of equipment is to be reduced then it would be better to embed the service officers along with Research and Development.

Calling for joint research by Army officials and DRDO, he said: “In a joint project, the success and failures will become a joint responsibility and we will not start pointing fingers at each other.”

On the occasion, Rawat recalled APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary stating that the late President had set benchmarks and standards for the Defence Research and Development (R and D) community, which is a challenge for scientists who are now emerging.

“I am quite sure the scientists will live up to those expectations,” he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were also present at the event. (IANS)

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Major shift in govt’s way of handling ‘terrorism’: IAF chief on Balakot

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New Delhi: The strategic relevance of Balakot air strikes is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism, Air Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Tuesday.

In his Air Force Day message, the Air Chief said, “The strategic relevance of this (Balakot air strikes) is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in the government’s way of handling militant attacks.”

Stressing that the present security environment in the neighbourhood is a case of serious concern, the Air Chief said Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installations.

 

Earlier, the Chiefs of three services paid floral tributes at the national war memorial on the occasion of 87th Air Force Day.

“On February 26 this year, the IAF successfully struck camps located at Balakot. On the next day, the IAF successfully thwarted Pakistan Air Force’s attempts to attack our military establishments. In the aerial engagement that followed we shot down a PAF F-16 fighter aircraft and lost a MiG-21,” the IAF chief said in his remarks during Air Force Day press conference on October 4.

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