Bofors deal: court defers order on CBI plea

Monday, February 21, 2011

NEW DELHI - A local court Monday deferred its order till March 4 on a CBI plea seeking to close all criminal cases against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, one of the alleged recipients of kickbacks in the controversial Bofors gun deal that had led to the fall of the Rajiv Gandhi government.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vindo Yadav reserved the order for March 4 on a plea against Quattrocchi, who had never appeared before any Indian court to face trial.

In a bid to stop the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from closing the case into Bofors howitzer-purchase scandal, 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.

The court also directed advocate Ajay Kumar Agrawal, who has filed the petition, to submit any other application related to the case by Feb 28, after which no application would be entertained.

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 said 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.

The scandal, resulting from charges of huge kickbacks, led to the fall of the government of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1989.

Filed under: Immigration

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