Delhi court to decide on CBI’s closure report in Bofors case

January 4th, 2011 - 12:24 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Jan 4 (ANI): After an income tax tribunal tracked down the money trail in the Bofors scandal, a Delhi court will today decide whether the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should withdraw its case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in Bofors pay-off case or not.

The CBI in its plea said that continued prosecution of Quattrocchi was “unjustified” in the light of lack of evidence, and hence the failed attempts to extradite him.

However, the lawyer opposing the CBI plea, Ajay Agarwal, claims he has proof that the CBI has a lot of evidence against Quattrocchi, and was asked by the court to file his objections today.

An income tax tribunal in its order issued yesterday, clearly shows how much money Quattrocchi and Win Chaddha were paid by Bofors as bribes.

The kickbacks violated rules, as a middleman is illegal in defence deals in India. Therefore, Quattrocchi and Chaddha are liable to pay income tax on bribe money they got while living in India.

It also claimed that due to the kickbacks, India had to pay almost Rs. 160 crore extra for the guns.

The Bofors scandal was a major corruption scandal in India in the 1980s; the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and several others were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India’s 155 mm field howitzer.

The case came to light during Vishwanath Pratap Singh’s tenure as Defence Minister

The scale of the corruption was far worse than any that India had seen before, and directly led to the defeat of Gandhi’s ruling Indian National Congress party in the November 1989 general elections. It has been speculated that the scale of the scandal was to the tune of Rs. 400 million. (ANI)

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