Decades old Bofors arms scandal may come to haunt the Congress party again if the CBI gets a go-ahead from the Narendra Modi government to re-open investigation into the case.
According to media reports, the CBI has told a parliamentary panel that it can reopen investigation into the Bofors arms deal case.
The CBI has made this submission before a six-member sub-committee on Defence attached to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). The sub-committee is looking into non-compliance of certain aspects of the CAG report of 1986 on the deal.
The Bofors arms deal scandal had led to the downfall of the then Rajiv Gandhi government in 1989.
The Congress has, meanwhile, termed the demand for re-opening the case as ''politically motivated''.
The Law Ministry has to clear the decision.
According to NDTV, a group of MPs on defence had last month said that the CBI must challenge in the Supreme Court the Delhi High Court's 2005 order cancelling the arms case.
The case is a "clear example of systemic failure and reflection of criminality", members of the panel said, and urged the CBI to seek permission from the government to reopen the case by filing a plea in Supreme Court.
The CBI has indicated that it can support a petition pending in the Supreme Court, which challenges the decision to cancel the case.
CBI chief Alok Verma was asked why the investigating agency did not go to the Supreme Court earlier. The MPs were reportedly told that the CBI's request for a go-ahead was denied by the Congress-led UPA, which was in power.
The panel of six MPs is examining what it says is the "oldest" report pending before it - an auditor's report on the 1986 Bofors howitzer gun deal.
The Bofors case scandal swirled around allegations that Swedish defence manufacturer Bofors paid huge kickbacks to Rajiv Gandhi and others for the sale of its artillery gun to India. The allegations first emerged on Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987.
The Delhi High Court later ruled that there was no evidence that Rajiv Gandhi had accepted bribes.