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HVK Archives: CBI sleuths puzzled at Arun Nehru's concern for Bofors

CBI sleuths puzzled at Arun Nehru's concern for Bofors - The Indian Express

Harish Gupta ()
23 February 1997

Title : CBI sleuths puzzled at Arun Nehru's concern for Bofors
Author : Harish Gupta
Publication : The Indian Express
Date : February 23, 1997

Sleuths in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are baffled
by the sudden interest shown in the Bofors case by former Union
Minister Arun Nehru who has been in the United States of America
for several weeks.

Nehru, who left India within days of the CBI team getting hold of
secret bank documents related to the Bofors deal kickbacks, wrote
three articles from New York demanding the release of the
documents and setting up of another Joint Parliamentary Committee.

What intrigued the CBI most was the absence of any reference in
these articles about Nehru's own role in the deal in 1985-86. It
is on record that Nehru had summoned the Swedish ambassador in
India to his chamber in May 1985 to order that agents be removed
if the A.B. Bofors wanted the multi-million dollar contract for
its survival.

The CBI is keen to question Nehru in what capacity had he summoned
the Swedish ambassador and if he had done so at the instance of
late Rajiv Gandhi, why had he asked the diplomat not to mention
this meeting with anybody else.

The CBI is also curious about Nehru's association with Ottavio
Quattrocchi and Benbourn, senior vice-president of the Asea Brown
Broveri. This Swedish company got several contracts during the
period and Quattrocchi received commission in these contracts.

The testimony of S K Jain, prime accused in the lain hawala case,
confirmed that Arun Nehru and Arif Mohammed Khan helped Jain and
Quattrocchi in several deals.

It is learnt that 750 members of parliament received envelopes
containing photocopies of articles published in newspapers.
However, there were no covering letters to give any clue as to who
dispatched them. But the purpose was obvious. The MPs were
supposed to demand the setting of a JPC on Bofors.

Jaswant Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party is the first leader to
demand the setting up of a House committee of the Lok Sabha to
scrutinise the Bofors documents. Nehru also made frantic phone
calls from New York to inquire what transpired at the meeting of
senior Congress MPs on Wednesday last which discussed Bofors.

Perhaps he was worried about the focus of attack on him by Mani
Shanker Aiyer who said in his paper before the Congress leaders
that needle of suspicion clearly points towards Arun Nehru in the
gun deal.

Arun Nehru was expected to return in the second week of February.
The arrival was delayed by a week and now he will be reaching on
February 28, according to his family members.

The CBI is eagerly awaiting his arrival, if the Bofors Special
Investigation Team is to be believed.

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