CBI opposes plea challenging withdrawal of Bofors cases

      The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday opposed a plea filed by a Delhi based advocate who objected to the withdrawal of cases against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in connection with the Bofors pay off case. A public prosecutor argued that a private party had no locus standi in the matter. In its submission before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja,the CBI argued that publicity and politics have no role to play in such matters and requested the court to reject the private party's plea against the CBI's move to close the case. Delhi based advocate Ajay Agrawal had challenged the CBI's move, arguing in his petition that the agency was trying to close a politically sensitive case despite possessing sufficient evidence against 69-year-old Quattrocchi. Earlier, CBI prosecutor U S Prasad had filed an application before the court seeking withdrawal of all cases against Quattrocchi on grounds that continuance of his prosecution was be unjustified. The CBI had said it had arrived at this conclusion after its failure to get Quattrochhi extradited twice from Malaysia and Argentina to face trial. The CBI claimed that the plea to withdraw the case was filed in good faith and in public interest. Quattrocchi is the sole surviving accused in the two-decade-old case after the Delhi High Court quashed the charges against other accused on May 31, 2005.

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