A Delhi court on Monday deferred the pronouncement of its order on a plea by an advocate opposing CBI’s move to withdraw the two-decade-old Bofors pay-off case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja posted the matter for further proceedings on August 7 in view of the case records lying with the Supreme Court.
Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra, appearing for CBI, submitted before the court that the probe agency has filed an application in the apex court seeking its direction to send back the case records to the trial court.
The CBI application is likely to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on July 13, he said.
Advocate Ajay Agrawal, who filed an application before the court opposing CBI’s decision to withdraw the case against 70-year-old Quattrocchi, contended that the original records relating to the case were sent to the Supreme Court in a separate matter in which a few accused were discharged by the Delhi High court.
“The CBI is acting in collusion with the accused and was unnecessarily hurrying up to withdraw the case against Quattrocchi, even though the matter with regard to other accused is already pending before the Supreme Court,” he alleged.
After hearing the submissions of Agrawal and the CBI, the court adjourned the matter. The court had also on May 15, deferred its order.
“Apart from the fact that there is sufficient material and grounds against Quattrocchi for his prosecution, the conduct of the CBI and its counsel who happens to be top law officers of the country is highly deplorable and depicts an apparent and active collusion with the accused,” Agrawal had alleged in his affidavit seeking rejection of CBI’s plea.
He had claimed that CBI had not filed the appeal against the Delhi High Court judgement discharging some accused in the case.
Quattrocchi, the sole surviving accused in the case after the Delhi High Court quashed the charges on May 31, 2005, against other accused, has never appeared before any court in the country.
CBI had failed on two occasions in its attempt to get Quattrocchi extradited -- first from Malaysia in 2003 and then from Argentina in 2007.
In November last year, the agency had asked the Interpol to take Quattrocchi’s name off the Red Corner notice list.