New Delhi, April 30: A Delhi Court on Thursday adjourned
till September 8 the hearing in the Bofors payoffs case
against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi after the CBI
sought two months time to decide further course of action
against him following his name being withdrawn from the list
of wanted persons.
During a brief hearing before Chief Metropolitan
Magistrate Kaveri Baweja, Additional Solicitor General P
P Malhotra, appearing for CBI, filed an application informing
the court that the Red Corner Notice issued against
Quattrocchi was withdrawn in November last year.
The court then inquired as to what options were left
with the prosecution in the case against Quattrocchi.
"There were eight accused in the case. Three are
already dead, four were acquitted by the Delhi High Court
in February 2004. Various attempts to get Quattrochi
extradiated to India have failed," the ASG said, sidestepping
the question put to him.
In her order deferring the hearing till September 8,
the Magistrate said, "An application filed on behalf of CBI
seeks period of two months to decide further course of action
in the matter."
It is stated that during the course of
investigation, the Red Corner Notice was recalled. Extradition
proceedings have not been completed for various reasons,"
The Interpol had withdraw the Red Corner Notice
against 70-year-old Quattrocchi, which was first issued
against the Italian businessman in 1997, following a
communication from the CBI.
Meanwhile, Union Law Minister HR Bharadwaj has once again said that nothing is left in the Bofors case and only politics is being played. He further said that there is no reason to proceed with this case.
Quattrocchi has not appeared before the court to face
trial in the case and, as a result, charges could not be
framed against him despite two chargesheets filed in the case.
Subsequently he was declared an absconder.
The court had on February 10, 1997 send letters to
Malaysia and the UAE seeking the arrest and extradition of
CBI had registered the FIR in the Bofors case on
January 22, 1990, three years after Swedish Radio on April 16,
1987, claimed A B Bofors, the makers of the 155 mm howitzers,
had paid kickbacks to top Indian politicians and key defence
officials to secure the Rs 1,437 crore gun deal.
The contract between the Indian government and the
Swedish Company for the supply of 400 field guns was signed on
March, 24, 1986.
CBI had filed the first chargesheet in the case on
October 22, 1999 naming Win Chadha, Quattrocchi, former
Defence Secretary S K Bhatnagar, former Bofors chief Martin
Ardbo and Bofors company as accused.
The investigating agency on October 9, 2000 had filed
a supplementary chargesheet naming Hinduja brothers- Srichand,
Gopichand and Prakashchand - as accused in the case. The
charges against them were quashed by the Delhi High Court on
May 31, 2005.