Justice A M Khanwilkar of the Supreme Court on Tuesday recused himself from hearing the politically sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors payoff case. Justice Khanwilkar, who was the part of a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, did not give any reason for opting out of hearing the matter. The bench, which also comprised Justice D Y Chandrachud, said a new bench would be constituted for hearing the matter on March 28.
The apex court was to hear the petition filed by BJP leader Ajay Agrawal challenging the May 31, 2005 decision of the Delhi High Court quashing all charges against all the accused persons in the case. The CBI informed the court that it has also filed an appeal against the high court order on February 2. On Tuesday, the apex court was to hear the petition of Agrawal on his locus of filing the appeal as a third party in the matter.
Agrawal, who had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Rae Bareli against then Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has been pursuing the case for over a decade in the apex court. He had filed the appeal after the CBI had failed to challenge the high court verdict within the mandatory 90-day period. Justice R S Sodhi (since retired), had delivered the May 31, 2005 judgement in which the charges were quashed against Europe-based industrialists Hinduja brothers.
Before the 2005 verdict of Justice Sodhi, another judge of the Delhi High Cou...