NEW DELHI: Hearing to a petition on Thursday, the apex court said that it will not direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to file an FIR against Sonia Gandhi and her colleagues, who were the prime accused in the VVIP Agusta Westland Chopper scam. The Court opined that the CBI will file an FIR against them, if it has evidence and that the court cannot intervene in the process.
The above comments from the Supreme Court came during the hearing of a petition filed by ML Sharma, a lawyer, seeking a First Information Report to be filed against Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and Ahmed Patel. The petitioner argued that the names of the high-profile politicians are not appearing on the FIR, despite of a court in Italy naming them in its list of accused.
Responding to the lawyer’s query, the three member-bench said that it cannot take the judgement of a foreign court as base for ordering an FIR to be filed against the accused. However, the court asked the petitioner to approach it again, if the CBI fails to file FIR against the top accused despite of evidence in hand.
An Italian court said that middlemen from Agusta paid bribes to the politicians in India to get the helicopter deal, which has been later unearthed as the scam amounting to Rs 3,600 crore.
In his petition, the lawyer argued “Because, the top three politicians being listed as accused by a court in Italy, CBI must register their names in the FIR. Since, the case is against high-profile politicians chances are high that neither the government nor the CBI would dare to put their names on the FIR. This will eventually lead to injustice”.
Earlier, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Central government seeking a response to, on whether the probe could be taken over from the Central Bureau of Investigation and handed over to a SIT (special investigation team) that i will constitute. In its response to the notice, the Government said that a SIT is looking into the case and a chargesheet will be filed soon, while assuring that all the accused would be punished.