Supreme Court declines early hearing

Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday declined early hearing of the petition filed by a lawyer for a direction to the Government of India to prevent de-freezing of the two bank accounts of the Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, accused in the Rs. 64 crore Bofors pay-off case.

Ajay Agarwal, on whose special leave petition the apex court had issued notice last year, filed the present application following reports that the government had asked the Crown Prosecution in London to de-freeze the accounts. He has cited as respondents - Union of India, through Cabinet Secretary, the Central Bureau of Investigation, B. Dutta, Additional Solicitor-General of India, and Law Minister H.R. Bhardwaj.

He pleaded before a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal that the matter be listed for early hearing in view of the importance. But the CJI told counsel: "Don't go by newspaper reports. File a proper application for inclusion in the mention list and we will see."

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