New Delhi: Almost three decades after the 64-crore Bofors scam hit headlines, an independent investigator's claims have created a buzz around the case. The Central Bureau of Investigation or the CBI today took note of his claims that the then Congress government headed by Rajiv Gandhi did not want the details of the pay-offs for the gun deal to come out.
"The agency has learnt of the matter pertaining to the Bofors aired on certain TV channels, containing interview of Michael Hershman," said its spokesman Abhishek Dayal. "Facts and circumstances as mentioned in the interview will be looked into as per due process by the CBI."
Mr Hershman, a private detective from a firm called Fairfax, says he was hired by then Finance Minister VP Singh to look into the pay-offs into Swiss bank accounts for the sealing of the Bofors gun deal.
In interviews to a newspaper, Fairfax claimed that Rajiv Gandhi not only disapproved of its probe when he found out and said he had received death threats for investigating the Bofors scam.
The issue was raised today by the ruling BJP at a press conference by Union Minister Smriti Irani.
"There are various layers that this investigator reveals. It is time the Congress answered the involvement of its leaders then and now in the Bofors scam," the minister said.
The developments come in the wake of the agency telling the Supreme Court that after the Delhi High Court closed the case and acquitted all accused in the Bofors scam, they wanted to file an appeal in the Supreme Court, but the UPA government at the Centre did not allow that.
In his statements, Mr Hershman has claimed his revelations was at the bottom of the fight between Rajiv Gandhi and VP Singh, which led to the minister's eventual sacking from the cabinet. Rajiv Gandhi was voted out in the 1989 elections, after which VP Singh led a coalition government.