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Hearing deferred on CBI’s move to close Quattrocchi case

New Delhi, July 5 (Calcutta Tube) A court Monday deferred the pronouncement of its order on a plea objecting to the Central Bureau of Investigation’a (CBI) decision to withdraw the two decades old Bofors payoff case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja adjourned the matter for further proceedings yill Aug 7 as the case records are with the Supreme Court.

Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra, appearing for the CBI, told the court that an application had been filed in the apex court seeking its direction to send back the case records to the trial court.

This matter is likely to come up for hearing in the apex court July 13, he said.

Advocate Ajay Agrawal, who filed an application before the court objecting to CBI decision, claimed that the original records relating to the case were sent to the Supreme Court in a separate matter in which a few accused were discharged by the Delhi High court.

‘The CBI is acting in collusion with the accused and was unnecessarily hurrying up to withdraw the case against Quattrocchi though the matter with regard to other accused is already pending before the Supreme Court,’ he said.

Quattrocchi, the sole surviving accused in the case after the high court quashed the charges against others May 31, 2005, has never appeared before any Indian court.

The CBI failed on two occasions to get Quattrocchi extradited – from Malaysia in 2003 and from Argentina in 2007.

The payoff case is related to alleged payment of kickbacks by Sweden-based Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India’s 155 mm field howitzer in the 1980s.

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