February 21, 2020
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Twelve-Year-Long Trail

A chronology of events leading up to the filing of the chargesheet

Twelve-Year-Long Trail

April 16, '87: National Swedish Radio announces that Bofors AB allegedly paid bribes to Indian politicians and bureaucrats through Swiss banks to win the contract to supply 155-mm howitzer field guns.

June 1, '87: The National Audit Bureau of Sweden admits the payment of "winding up charges" of Rs 34 crore to Rs 50 crore.

August 6, '87: The Indian government sets up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to look into the allegation of pay-offs under the chairmanship of B. Shankaranand.

September '87: Per Ove Moresberg, chairman of Bofors AB and Lars Gothlin, chief jurist of Nobel Industries, convey to India the names of three companies-Svenska Inc of Panama, Moresco of Switzerland and AE Services of the UK-which had received "winding up cost".

April 25, '88: The JPC presents its report to Parliament, saying it did not find any evidence of middlemen or of any payment other than winding-up charges.

January 22, '90: The CBI files its First Information Report in a Delhi court.

January 26, '90: Swiss bank authorities freeze the accounts concerned on a request from the V.P. Singh government.

January '93: The Geneva Cantonal Court grants assistance to India in the first round of its proceedings in the case. Appellants move the Swiss Federal Court.

July 12, '93: The Swiss Federal Court rejects the appeals and asks the papers to be handed over to India.

June 7, '94: The names of seven appellants in the Swiss courts, including the Hindujas, Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi and Bofors' agent in India, Win Chadha, are made public.

October '96: The Geneva Cantonal Court rules in favour of India in the final round; six appellants again move the federal court to block the transfer of the documents.

November 26, '96: Appeals rejected.

January 21, '97: Joginder Singh, CBI director, goes to Berne to receive secret bank documents.

February 20, '97: The CBI team returns to India from Malaysia after failing to secure Quattrocchi's arrest.

October 22, '99: CBI finally files the chargesheet in the case. It names former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, former Union minister Madhavsinh Solanki, Gopi Arora, special secretary to the prime minister, former defence secretary S.K. Bhatnagar, Quattrocchi and his wife Maria, Win Chadha, his late wife Kanta and son Harsh Chadha.

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