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Updated: January 7, 2011 00:27 IST

Court questions CBI intent in plea to close Bofors case

Staff Reporter
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Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi. File Photo
AP Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi. File Photo

The special court hearing arguments on the plea for closing the over two-decade-old Bofors case on Thursday questioned the bona fide of the Central Bureau of Investigation in de-freezing Ottavio Quattrocchi's bank account in London and giving up attempts to get him extradited to face prosecution in the case.

The investigating agency has sought closure of the prosecution proceedings against the lone surviving accused, Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, arguing that its plea was “bona fide, in good faith and in public interest.”

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Vinod Yadav said there were “certain mala fide intentions” on the CBI's part in its plea to close the case.

“I agree that there are certain mala fide intentions in the case and there is no doubt in that,'' Mr. Yadav observed.

The CMM made this remark when advocate Ajay Agarwal opposing the CBI's plea submitted that the agency's only intention was to protect Mr. Quattrocchi.

Charging the agency with mala fide intentions in de-freezing the bank account of Mr. Quattrocchi, the CMM observed: “I understand that several mala fide intentions were there in de-freezing the bank account of Quattrocchi.”

It also pulled it up for its failure to extradite Mr. Quattrocchi to face trial.

The court also dismissed the plea of the agency that the advocate had locus standi to intervene in the matter.

It allowed Mr. Agarwal to inspect the judicial file of the case to prepare for his further argument despite protest by the agency.

Additional Solicitor-General P.P. Malhotra representing the CBI reiterated the known stand that there was no change of mind on closing the case after the order by the Income Tax Tribunal Authority on the tax liability of late Win Chadha and Mr. Quattrocchi on the kickbacks paid to them by the then A.B. Bofors for brokering the gun deal in its favour. Mr. Malhotra described the order irrelevant.

The court will hear further arguments on February 10.

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It is reported that Mr. PP Malhotra had earlier represented Win Chadha (source:IBNLive). How come he is now CBI lawyer? Is this not a conflict of interest? If Congress is really clean, and has nothing to hide, why is it not allowing for Quattrochi's investigation? Why, as per Ram Jethmalani (on Times Now, on 5th Jan), the CBI counsel did not submit the summary of the evidence when he was presented in an Argentinian court and the judge asked for summary of evidence? Why is Kapil Sibbal threatening BJP to expose its corruption, just because in this case the prime target is close to Congress high command? If any BJP person is corrupt, why is government not prosecuting? Is Congress trying to bargain? Most channels were pretty silent today (6th Jan), and devoted more time for Telangana. What made them not cover the explosive remarks of the judge?

from:  Gururaj S.
Posted on: Jan 7, 2011 at 01:28 IST
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