Bofors: Court accepts CBI's reasoning of foreign countries judgement

New Delhi: A Delhi Court, which discharged Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi from Bofors payoff case, accepted CBI's reasoning that the judgements of two foreign countries reflected that the offence of conspiracy and cheating was not made out against him.

"A joint reading of judgements of both the countries (Argentina and Malaysia) would reveal that on facts of case, both the countries expressed that offence of conspiracy and cheating was not made out against Quattrocchi.

"As the terms of agreement between the Government of India and Bofors did not prohibit the induction of foreign agents in the contract and in any case, if there was a violation of any term of contract, that only leads to civil consequences and not penal consequences," the court noted.

The court also considered the submission of Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra that the Red Corner Notice was withdrawn against 70-year-old Quattrocchi after the approval of the then Attorney General Milon K Banerji as it was "impinging very heavily upon the exchequer".

The judge also noted that the ASG had submitted that in future no other country would allow the extradition application of the government because of the aforesaid two precedents of two different countries, which at the time of considering extradition applications, considered the merits of the case as well.

The court agreed with CBI that if the proceedings are allowed to continue against Quattrocchi endlessly, then "that would only amount to continuation of charge on the exchequer with no hope of any fruitful result being produced in the matter".

"On this account also, I find that the special prosecutor has applied his independent mind and considered the matter on the aforesaid lines," the judge said.