Special Correspondent

Quattrocchi issue rocks Parliament; utmost urgency to extradition request: Government

  • Extradition request being processed with utmost urgency: Pachouri
  • Government fully committed to autonomy of CBI

    NEW DELHI: The Quattrocchi issue rocked Parliament for the second day on Tuesday, with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Opposition stalling the proceedings in both Houses, resulting in their adjournment.

    Stepping out of the Parliament House, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told newspersons: "I solemnly affirm to the people that this Government has done nothing wrong. The CBI has been allowed fullest possible freedom to go about its task to pursue the case. The rule of law will prevail and the law of the land will be allowed to prevail fully."

    The Government had been facing trouble since the Central Bureau of Investigation said it received information that Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in the Bofors payoffs case, had been detained in Argentina.

    Tabling a four-page statement in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, amid loud protests from the BJP and other Opposition parties, Minister of State for Personnel Suresh Pachouri said the extradition request was being processed with the "utmost urgency." He maintained that Mr. Quattrocchi's release on bail would have no bearing on the proceedings to get him extradited.

    As soon as the Rajya Sabha session began, BJP members raised slogans and disrupted the proceedings, resulting in a one-and-half hour adjournment. The scene was no different when the House assembled again and it was adjourned for the day.

    In the Lok Sabha too, the BJP members raised slogans, which led to an adjournment for an hour. It was no different when the House met again, forcing Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to adjourn the House for the day, allowing tabling of papers.

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