Ahead of the crucial hearing in a Delhi court against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in Bofors gun deal payoff case, an application was filed on Thursday opposing the move by CBI to close the case against him.

The hearing before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate on October 3 assumes significance as the government had on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it has decided to withdraw the case against Mr. Quattrocchi and CBI is to move an application in this regard.

Advocate Ajay Agrawal, who has been pursuing the Bofors case in the Supreme Court, filed the application seeking rejection of any such move by the investigating agency alleging the Centre has been trying to bail out the 69-year-old Italian businessman against whom “there is ample evidence for his prosecution“.

The advocate referred to a case of 1984 anti-Sikh riots in which a trial court had in 2007 rejected a closure report against former union minister Jagdish Tytler and directed CBI to re-investigate his alleged role.

Mr. Agrawal had filed an appeal in the apex court against the Delhi High Court’s May 31, 2005, decision to quash charges against all other accused in the case after CBI failed to challenge it within the mandatory 90-day period.

In his 27-page application, the advocate pleaded that he should be allowed to participate in the proceedings in the court and be treated as a complainant in the case.

“I should be treated as complainant in the matter and may be allowed to participate in the proceedings of the case and the court may consider all the aspects and rejects such closure report that may be filed by CBI before it,” Mr. Agrawal said.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium had on Tuesday told the apex court that the government has decided to drop the case against Mr. Quattrocchi, the sole accused left in the case as the Delhi High Court on May 31, 2005 quashed charges against all other accused.

He had said that the case against the Italian businessman could not be kept pending forever as two attempts by the government to extradite him have failed.

The case against Mr. Quattrocchi is scheduled for hearing before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate here on October 3.

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