Bofors case : CBI withdraws application from Delhi court seeking permission for further probe in Bofors case

The CBI Thursday withdrew from a Delhi court its application that had sought permission to further probe the politically sensitive Rs 64-crore Bofors payoff case.

The agency told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Navin Kumar Kashyap that it wants to withdraw the application filed on February 1, 2018.

It had moved the trial court seeking permission for further probe in the matter saying it had come across fresh material and evidence.

The agency on Thursday submitted before the court that decision on further course of action would be taken by it and wanted to withdraw the application for now.

Taking note of CBI’s stand, the judge said: “For the reason best known to the CBI, in case they want to withdraw the application, they have the right as they are the applicants.”

The court on December 4, 2018 had questioned as to why the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) required its permission to further probe the matter.

The CBI had also filed an appeal in the Supreme Court in February 2, 2018 against the May 31, 2005 verdict of the Delhi high Court discharging all the accused in the case.

The apex court had on November 2, 2018 dismissed CBI’s appeal in which it had sought condonation of the 13 year delay in filing the appeal against the high court judgment.

The apex court had said that it was not convinced with the grounds of the CBI to condone over 4,500 days’ delay in filing the appeal.

However, one of the appeals is still alive in the apex court in which CBI is one of the respondents and the top court on November 2, 2018 said that the agency can assist in the matter as respondent.

The apex court said the CBI can raise all grounds in the appeal against the high court verdict filed by advocate Ajay Agrawal who has also challenged the judgement.

Agrawal, who has now become a rebel BJP leader after he was denied Lok Sabha ticket from Rai Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, in 2005 had challenged the high court verdict after the CBI did not file the appeal in the mandatory 90 days period.

The agency had swung into action for a permission for further probe in the case after the Attorney General had orally given it a go ahead to file the appeal in the case in which it cited the October 2017 interview of private detective Michael Hershman, alleging that the then Rajiv Gandhi government had sabotaged his probe.

Justice R S Sodhi (since retired) of the Delhi High Court had on May 31, 2005 quashed the CBI case in the Bofors pay-off scam.

SC dismisses CBI’s appeal in Bofors case


New Delhi: 
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed CBI’s appeal against the Delhi High Court verdict discharging all the accused including Hinduja brothers in Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it was not convinced with the grounds of the CBI on the delay in filing the appeal. 

The apex court, however, said that an appeal against the same HC verdict filed by advocate Ajay Agarwal is pending and the CBI can raise all grounds in it.

The Rs 1,437-crore deal between India and Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 units of 155-mm Howitzer guns for the Indian Army was entered into on March 24, 1986.

Trial court to hear the case tomorrow in Bofors case

A BJP leader, who has been pursuing the politically-sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case for over a decade, today filed an application before a Delhi court asking it to grant permission to the CBI to reinvestigate the case.

Advocate Ajay Agrawal, who contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Rae Bareli against the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi, moved the plea before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ashu Garg, claiming that serious miscarriage of justice will occur if permission is not granted to the agency in view of new evidence emerging in the case.

The court said it will take up the application tomorrow when it is scheduled to hear a CBI plea seeking a direction to allow it to go for further probe in case on the ground that the agency has come across fresh material and evidence.

In his plea, he said the entire record of the case was sent to the Supreme Court where his appeal against the May 31, 2005 judgment of the Delhi High Court quashing all charges against accused persons, was pending.

The BJP leader had filed an appeal in 2005 as the CBI had failed to move the special leave petition (SLP) within the stipulated 90 days of the high court judgement.

Agrawal had earlier asked the CBI to make its stand clear by filing documents on the case as respondent in his appeal.

The CBI had on February 1 moved the trial court seeking a direction to allow it to go for further probe into the case, saying the agency had come across fresh material and evidence.

A day after, the agency also filed the appeal after more than 12 years in the Supreme Court against the May 31, 2005 decision of the high court.

The agency swung into action after the attorney general orally gave it a go ahead to file the appeal in the case in which it cited the October 2017 interview of private detective Michael Hershman, who alleged that the then Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government had sabotaged his probe.

Justice R S Sodhi (since retired) of the Delhi High Court on May 31, 2005, had quashed the CBI case in the Bofors pay-off scam.

Before the 2005 verdict of Justice Sodhi, another judge of the Delhi High Court, retired Justice J D Kapoor, had on February 4, 2004, exonerated the late prime minister in the case and directed the framing of charge of forgery under section 465 of the IPC against Bofors company.

The Rs 1,437-crore deal between India and Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm howitzer guns for the Indian Army was entered into on March 24, 1986.

Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987, had claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel.

The CBI on January 22, 1990 had registered the FIR for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the IPC and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then president of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and the Hinduja brothers.

It had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in India and abroad had entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1982 and 1987 in pursuance of which the offences of bribery, corruption, cheating and forgery were committed

The first charge sheet in the case was filed on October 22, 1999, against Chadda, Ottavio Quattrocchi, the then defence secretary S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed against the Hinduja brothers — S P Hinduja, G P Hinduja and P P Hinduja — on October 9, 2000.

A special CBI court in Delhi on March 4, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi from the case, saying the country could not afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which had already cost Rs 250 crore.

Quattrocchi, who had fled from India on July 29-30, 1993, never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution.

He passed away on July 13, 2013. The other accused persons who died are Bhatnagar, Ardbo and Chadda.

Justice A M Khanwilkar recuses from hearing Bofors case in Supreme Court

Justice A M Khanwilkar of the Supreme Court today recused himself from hearing the politically sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors payoff case.

Justice Khanwilkar, who was the part of a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, did not give any reason for opting out of hearing the matter.

The bench, which also comprised Justice D Y Chandrachud, said a new bench would be constituted for hearing the matter on March 28.

The apex court was to hear the petition filed by BJP leader Ajay Agrawal challenging the May 31, 2005 decision of the Delhi High Court quashing all charges against all the accused persons in the case.

The CBI informed the court that it has also filed an appeal against the high court order on February 2.

Today, the apex court was to hear the petition of Agrawal on his locus of filing the appeal as a third party in the matter.

Agrawal, who had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Rae Bareli against then Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has been pursuing the case for over a decade in the apex court.

He had filed the appeal after the CBI had failed to challenge the high court verdict within the mandatory 90-day period.

Justice R S Sodhi (since retired), had delivered the May 31, 2005 judgement in which the charges were quashed against Europe-based industrialists Hinduja brothers.

Before the 2005 verdict of Justice Sodhi, another judge of the Delhi High Court, retired Justice J D Kapoor, had on February 4, 2004, exonerated the late prime minister in the case and directed the framing of charge of forgery under section 465 of the IPC against Bofors company.

The Rs 1,437-crore deal between India and Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm Howitzer guns for the Indian Army was entered into on March 24, 1986.

Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987, had claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel.

The CBI on January 22, 1990 had registered the FIR for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then president of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and the Hinduja brothers.

It had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in India and abroad had entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1982 and 1987 in pursuance of which the offences of bribery, corruption, cheating and forgery were committed.

The first charge sheet in the case was filed on October 22, 1999, against Chadda, Ottavio Quattrocchi, the then defence secretary S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed against the Hinduja brothers — S P Hinduja, G P Hinduja and P P Hinduja– on October 9, 2000.

A special CBI court in Delhi on March 4, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi from the case saying the country could not afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which had already cost Rs 250 crore.

Quattrocchi, who had fled from here on July 29-30, 1993, never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution.

He passed away on July 13, 2013. The other accused persons who died are Bhatnagar, Ardbo and Chadda.

SC questions locus of BJP leader who filed appeal in Bofors case

The Supreme Court today asked BJP leader Ajay Agrawal to explain his locus in filing an appeal in the politically-sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-offs case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra noted that the CBI has not filed any appeal in the apex court challenging the May 31, 2005 Delhi High Court judgement and asked the petitioner to explain his locus in the case.

“We expect the petitioner to argue the matter on the next date of hearing and argue the parameters on grant of leaves,” the bench also comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said.

The matter will be now heard on February 2.

Justice R S Sodhi of Delhi High Court, since retired, had on May 31, 2005 quashed all charges against the three Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company, castigating the CBI for its handling of the case, saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore.

Agrawal, who had contested the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 from Rai Bareli against the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has filed an appeal in the apex court against the 2005 verdict of the high court.

Before the 2005 verdict of Justice Sodhi, another judge of the Delhi High Court, retired Justice J D Kapoor, had on February 4, 2004 exonerated late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed the framing of charge of forgery under section 465 of the IPC against Bofors company.

The Rs 1,437-crore deal between India and Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm Howitzer guns for the Indian Army was entered into on March 24, 1986.

Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987, had claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel.

The CBI on January 22, 1990 had registered the FIR for alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then president of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and the Hinduja brothers.

It had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in India and abroad had entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1982 and 1987 in pursuance of which the offences of bribery, corruption, cheating and forgery were committed.

The first charge sheet in the case was filed on October 22, 1999, against Chadda, Ottavio Quattrocchi, the then defence secretary S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed against the Hinduja brothers on October 9, 2000.

A special CBI court in Delhi on March 4, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi from the case saying the country could not afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which had already cost Rs 250 crore.

Quattrocchi, who fled from here on July 29-30, 1993, never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution.

He passed away on July 13, 2013. The other accused persons who died are Bhatnagar, Chadda and Ardbo.

Source : PTI

Bofors case: SC likely to hear plea tomorrow

Bofors case: SC likely to hear plea tomorrow
Bofors case: SC likely to hear plea tomorrow

The Supreme Court is likely to hear tomorrow the politically sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case, amidst recent media reports suggesting a financial quid pro quo for the Rs 1,437 crore Howitzer gun deal in 1986.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra is scheduled to take up the plea by BJP leader and advocate Ajay Kumar Agarwal, who had challenged the Delhi High Court May 31, 2005 judgement quashing all charges against the Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the case.

The apex court had on October 18, 2005 admitted his petition which was filed after the CBI failed to approach the top court with the appeal within the 90-day deadline following the High Court verdict.

The hearing assumes significance in the wake of a demand in Parliament by ruling BJP MPs for reopening of the probe into the Bofors kickback scandal after the media reports quoting Swedish chief investigator Sten Lindstrom’s suggested the alleged bribery at the top level.

Agarwal, who had contested the Rai Bareli Lok Sabha elections in 2014 against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, had said he will also draw the attention of the apex court that he had written a letter to the Enforcement Directorate seeking investigation into the trail of the kickback money under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

In the July 28 letter to the ED, he has claimed that the alleged crimes were committed continuously till the year 2006 when two London accounts held by Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochi, who was accused as being one of the middlemen in the deal, were de-freezed.

The BJP leader had said he was writing a letter to the CBI asking it to file an affidavit about the facts and course of investigation in the case, as during the brief hearing on December 1, 2016, the agency had told the apex court that the authorities had not permitted it to file an appeal against the May 31, 2005 verdict.

Agarwal said he will try to convince the apex court through his petition that the “High Court had quashed the charges against the accused persons on technical grounds and the order was totally perverse which is liable to be set aside.”

Justice R S Sodhi of the Delhi High Court, since retired, had on May 31, 2005 quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company and castigated the CBI for its handling of the case saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore.

Before the 2005 verdict, another judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice J D Kapoor (since retired) on February 4, 2004, had exonerated late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed framing of charge of forgery under Section 465 of IPC against the Bofors company.

The matter was last listed on February 28 this year when it was adjourned.

The apex court had on October 18, 2005 allowed Agrawal to file an appeal against the high court verdict in the absence of any appeal by CBI.

The December 1, 2016 hearing had taken place after a gap of almost six years since August 12, 2010.

The Rs 1,437 crore deal between India and the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm Howitzer guns for the Indian Army was entered on March 24, 1986. The Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987 had claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel.

The CBI on January 22, 1990 had registered the FIR for the alleged offence of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery under the Indial Penal Code and other sections of Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then President of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and Hinduja brothers.

The CBI had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in India and abroad had entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1982 and 1987 in pursuance of which the offences of bribery, corruption, cheating and forgery were committed.

The first charge sheet in the case was filed on October 22, 1999 against Chadda, Quattrocchi, then Defence Secretary S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company. A supplementary charge sheet against Hinduja brothers was filed on October 9, 2000.

A special CBI court in Delhi On March 4, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi from the case saying the country cannot afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which has already cost Rs 250 crore.

Quattrocchi, who fled from here on July 29-30, 1993, has never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution.

He passed away on July 13, 2013. The other accused persons who have died are Bhatnagar, Chadda and Ardbo.

( Source – PTI )

Bofors case: plea for early hearing filed in SC

Bofors case: plea for early hearing filed in SC
Bofors case: plea for early hearing filed in SC

An application has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking early hearing of the politically- sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case after a fresh media report suggesting a financial quid pro quo for the Rs 1,437 crore Howitzer gun deal in 1986.

The plea by BJP leader and advocate Ajay Agrawal has also alleged apparent collusiveness by CBI with the accused persons in the Bofors scam, saying the agency did not challenge the Delhi High Court’s May 31, 2005 judgement quashing all charges against the Europe-based Hinduja brothers.

He has challenged the judgement in the apex court which had on October 18, 2005 admitted his petition that was filed after the CBI failed to approach the top court with the appeal within the 90-day deadline after the High Court verdict.

In the application, the lawyer-turned-politician said he had filed the appeal in public interest because the CBI did not come forward and it was reported that the Law Ministry then had not given permission to the agency, despite the fact that the High Court order was illegal.

To substantiate the allegation of collusiveness between the CBI and the accused persons, Agrawal in his application has narrated the sequence of events that led to the defreezing of the London bank account of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, alleged middleman in the deal, in 2006, for which the then Additional Solicitor General B Dutta had visited England.

He said such a step was undertaken despite the fact that the then UPA government and the CBI were aware that his appeal has been admitted by the apex court.

Agrawal, who had contested the Rai Bareli Lok Sabha elections in 2014 against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, also claimed that the CBI did not bother to inform the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, which was seized of the Quattrocchi matter, to inform about its move to defreeze the accounts.

He said that on August 3, he had written a letter to the CBI seeking re-investigation of the entire Bofors scam and the trail of alleged bribe money deposited in Quattrocchi’s London bank account and the subsequent developments after the defreezing of the account on January 16, 2006.

Fresh developments assume significance in the wake of a demand in Parliament by ruling BJP MPs for reopening of the probe into the Bofors kickback scandal after the media reports quoting Swedish chief investigator Sten Lindstrom’s suggested payment of alleged bribery at the top level.

After the developments in Parliament, Agrawal also wrote a letter to the Enforcement Directorate seeking investigation into the trail of the kickback money under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

In the July 28 letter to the ED, he claimed that the alleged crimes were committed continuously till 2006 when two London accounts held by Quattrochi, who has been accused as one of the middlemen in the deal, were de-freezed.

The BJP leader said the CBI should file an affidavit about the facts and course of investigation into the case, as during the brief hearing on December 1, 2016, the agency had told the apex court that the authorities had not permitted it to file an appeal against the May 31, 2005 verdict.

He said he would try to convince the apex court through his petition that the “High Court had quashed the charges against the accused persons on technical grounds and the order was totally perverse which is liable to be set aside.”

Justice R S Sodhi, since retired, of the Delhi High Court had on May 31, 2005 quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company and castigated the CBI for its handling of the case saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore.

Before the 2005 verdict, another judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice J D Kapoor (since retired) on February 4, 2004, had exonerated late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed framing of charge of forgery under Section 465 of the IPC against the Bofors company.

The matter was last listed on February 28 this year when it was adjourned.

The apex court had on October 18, 2005 allowed Agrawal to file an appeal against the high court verdict in the absence of any appeal by CBI.

The December 1, 2016 hearing had taken place after a gap of almost six years since August 12, 2010.

The Rs 1,437 crore deal between India and the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm Howitzer guns for Indian Army was entered on March 24, 1986.

The Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987 had claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel.

The CBI on January 22, 1990 had registered the FIR for the alleged offence of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery under the IPC and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then President of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and Hinduja brothers.

It had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in India and abroad had entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1982 and 1987 in pursuance of which the offences of bribery, corruption, cheating and forgery were committed to the extent of Rs 64 crore in the contracts for the supply of Bofors guns.

The first charge sheet in the case was filed on October 22, 1999 against Chadda, Quattrocchi, then Defence Secretary S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company. A supplementary charge sheet against Hinduja brothers was filed on October 9, 2000.

A special CBI court in Delhi On March 4, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi from the case saying the country cannot afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which has already cost Rs 250 crore.

Quattrocchi, who had fled from here on July 29-30, 1993, has never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution. He passed away on July 13, 2013. The other accused persons who have died are Bhatnagar, Chadda and Ardbo.

( Source – PTI )

Bofors case likely to make a comeback in SC

Bofors case likely to make a comeback in SC
Bofors case likely to make a comeback in SC

Speculation is rife that the politically sensitive Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off case will come up for substantial hearing in the Supreme Court soon, amidst a fresh media report suggesting a financial quid pro quo for the Rs 1,437 crore Howitzer gun deal in 1986.

BJP leader and advocate Ajay Kumar Agarwal, who had challenged the Delhi High Court May 31, 2005 judgement quashing all charges against the Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the case, said the matter was listed in the weekly list earlier this month, but could not be taken up.

He said the apex court may list the matter after its constitution bench completes hearing on the right to privacy matter and that he was also contemplating filing an application for an early hearing.

The apex court had on October 18, 2005 admitted his petition which was filed after the CBI failed to approach the top court with the appeal within the 90-day deadline after the High Court verdict.

The hearing will assume significance in the wake of the demand in Parliament by ruling BJP MPs for reopening of probe into the Bofors kick-back scandal after the media reports quoting Swedish chief investigator Sten Lindstrom’s suggested payment of alleged bribery at the top level.

Agarwal, who had contested the Rai Bareli Lok Sabha elections in 2014 against Congress President Sonia Gandhi, said he will also draw the attention of the apex court that he has written a letter to the Enforcement Directorate seeking investigation into the trail of the kickback money under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

In the July 28 letter to the ED, he claimed that the alleged crimes were committed continuously till the year 2006 when two London accounts held by Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochi, who has been accused as one of the middlemen in the deal, were de-freezed.

The BJP leader said he is writing a letter to the CBI asking it to file an affidavit about the facts and course of investigation into the case, as during the brief hearing on December 1, 2016, the agency had told the apex court that the authorities had not permitted it to file an appeal against the May 31, 2005 verdict.

Agarwal said he will try to convince the apex court through his petition that the “High Court had quashed the charges against the accused persons on technical grounds and the order was totally perverse which is liable to be set aside.”

Justice R S Sodhi of the Delhi High Court, since retired, had on May 31, 2005 quashed all charges against the Hinduja brothers — Srichand, Gopichand and Prakashchand — and the Bofors company and castigated the CBI for its handling of the case saying it had cost the exchequer about Rs 250 crore.

Before the 2005 verdict, another judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice J D Kapoor (since retired) on February 4, 2004, had exonerated the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the case and directed framing of charge of forgery under Section 465 of IPC against the Bofors company.

The matter was last listed on February 28 this year when it was adjourned.

The apex court had on October 18, 2005 allowed Agrawal to file an appeal against the high court verdict in the absence of any appeal by CBI.

The December 1, 2016 hearing had taken place after a gap of almost six years since August 12, 2010.

The Rs 1,437 crore deal between India and the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors for the supply of 400 155mm Howitzer guns for Indian Army was entered on March 24, 1986.

The Swedish Radio on April 16, 1987 had claimed that the company had paid bribes to top Indian politicians and defence personnel.

The CBI on January 22, 1990 had registered the FIR for the alleged offence of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery under the Indial Penal Code and other sections of Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, the then President of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadda and Hinduja brothers.

The CBI had alleged that certain public servants and private persons in India and abroad had entered into a criminal conspiracy between 1982 and 1987 in pursuance of which the offences of bribery, corruption, cheating and forgery were committed to the extent of Rs 64 crore in the contracts for the supply of Bofors guns.

The first charge sheet in the case was filed on October 22, 1999 against Chadda, Quattrocchi, then Defence Secretary S K Bhatnagar, Ardbo and the Bofors company. A supplementary charge sheet against Hinduja brothers was filed on October 9, 2000.

A special CBI court in Delhi On March 4, 2011, had discharged Quattrocchi from the case saying the country cannot afford to spend hard-earned money on his extradition which has already cost Rs 250 crore.

Quattrocchi, who fled from here on July 29-30, 1993, has never appeared before any court in India to face prosecution.

He passed away on July 13, 2013. The other accused persons who have died are Bhatnagar, Chadda and Ardbo.

( Source – PTI )

Court accepts CBI closure report in Bofors case

Delhi court today allowed a CBI plea seeking withdrawal of prosecution against elusive Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the two-decade-old Bofors payoff case.

“The application of the CBI is allowed,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav said.

“If the logical conclusion of a case is not possible then it is better to leave the issue,” he said.

“How long we will spend through our nose the hard- earned money of the aam-aadmi” in pursuing the case, the judge said while referring to the amount of over Rs 200 crore already spent in the investigations.

The CMM while passing the order said that the CBI did not go into the merits of the case while advocate Ajay Agrawal opposed CBI’s plea on merits.

Regarding the locus standi of Agrawal in this case, the CMM said, he ‘doesn’t have any locus standi in this case’.

The CMM said that he had also gone into the aspect of larger public interest as raised by Agrawal. Agrawal, however, said that he will appeal against the order of the court. 70-year-old Quattrocchi ‘cannot have special privilege because of his closeness to late Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi’, he alleged.

No change in CBI plan to withdraw Bofors case, court told

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday told a court that despite the income tax tribunal ruling that kickbacks had indeed been paid in the Bofors deal, there was no change in its stand to close cases against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, one of the alleged recipients of the bribe.

CBI’s lawyer, Additional Solicitor General P.P. Malhotra told a special CBI court that he has instructions from the government to state this before the court.

On Monday, the IT appellate tribunal ruled that Quattrocchi and his partner Win Chadha (who is now dead) did get commission of over Rs.412 million in the gun deal.

The CBI had in 1999 charged former defence secretary S.K. Bhatnagar, Quattrocchi, Chadha, former Bofors chief Martin Ardbo and the company in connection with the kickbacks case.

Bhatnagar, Ardbo and Chadha are dead. Quattrocchi – who has never appeared before any court in India – is the only surviving accused.

The agency has failed on two occasions to get Quattrocchi extradited — first from Malaysia in 2003 and then from Argentina in 2007 — after which it said there was no real purpose in going ahead with the case.

At the last hearing of the CBI special court Tuesday, the judge asked CBI counsel whether they had received any fresh directive from the government in the light of the tribunal’s order.