Fresh attempt to stop CBI from closing Bofors case

Saturday, February 19, 2011

NEW DELHI - In a bid to stop the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from closing the Bofors scam case, a Delhi court was Saturday told that the agency may have inflated the amount spent on the probe of the kickbacks in the Rs.15-billion gun deal of 1986.

During a hearing Feb 10 on the CBI’s closure plea, the court indicated that the remark that the probe into Rs.64-crore kickbacks in the Bofors gun deal case cost Rs.250 crore to exchequer may be a significant factor in its final ruling.

“A large amount of Rs.250 crore has been spent on the investigation (related to) approximately Rs.200 crore commission paid in the Bofors deal is totally wrong,” Advocate Ajay Kumar Agrawal told a lower court here.

The fresh application challenging a Delhi High Court order of 2005 mentioning the probe expenses comes days before a Tis Hazari court is set to pronounce its order on a CBI plea to close all criminal cases against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, one of the alleged recipients of kickbacks in the gun deal.

Agarwal, who is challenging the CBI plea, in his application said that he had been “told by a former CBI director that the figure of Rs.250 crore may be 20-30 times more than the amount is spent on Bofors investigation.”

“The actual figure may be less than Rs.5 crore or so,” he said in the plea.

The CBI has been seeking withdrawal of the case against Quattrocchi, citing lack of evidence even as a tax tribunal ruled in December 2010 that illegal commissions were indeed paid in the deal.

The CBI says its plea to withdraw the case has been filed with bonafide intention as the agency has spent huge amount of money on the investigation but has not been able to arrest Quattrochi.

Filed under: Immigration

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