Bofors case: Court accepts CBI closure report, relief for Quattrocchi (Lead)

March 4th, 2011 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Paving the way for the end of the Rs.640 million Bofors kickbacks case, a Delhi court Friday accepted the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) closure report seeking to drop all charges against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochhi in the two-decade-old scandal.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav observed: “At this moment we have to end the case therefore I allow the CBI plea to close the case. I think the CBI has moved this application to close this case after applying their minds, therefore there is no need of wasting public money in continuing the investigation.”

The premier investigative agency was seeking to close all criminal cases against Italian businessman Quattrocchi, one of the alleged recipients of kickbacks in the controversial Rs.15 billion Bofors gun deal in 1986 that had led to the fall of the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1989. Many influential figures were accused of receiving payoffs in the deal which involved the purchase of Bofors guns for the Indian army.

The CBI had been seeking withdrawal of the case against Quattrocchi, who had never appeared before any Indian court to face trial citing lack of evidence, even as a tax tribunal ruled in December 2010 that illegal commissions were indeed paid in the deal.

The agency had said that its plea to withdraw the case has been filed with bonafide intention as it has spent a huge amount of money on the investigation but has not been able to arrest Quattrochi.

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