Another CBI goof-up, Quattrochi to be let free?

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Ottavio Quattrochi
New Delhi, Jan 4: The Bofors ghost is back to hound the UPA government. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) decision on the closure of the high profile case that led to the downfall of the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1989 will act as a god-send piece of news for the UPA government.

The Tis Hazari court will decide on the fate of the Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi and his involvement in the Bofors kickbacks case. The CBI has requested for criminal proceedings to be dropped against the foreign national due to lack of evidence. The CBI has claimed that the charges against Quattrocchi was not justified and thus the grounds to extradite him to India does not hold good.

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) on the other hand revealed that they had proof of the money-trail and have evidence to prove that the accused late Win Chaddha pocketed Rs 52.6 crore and Quattrocchi got $7 million as kickbacks. The tribunal also pointed out that the presence of middlemen in defence deals violated the rules and stressed that both Win Chaddha and Quattrochi are liable to pay Income Tax for the bribes they received in India. Chadha died in 2001.

The tribunal also found that the kickbacks cost India an extra expenditure of Rs. 160 crore.

Ajay Agarwal, the lawyer opposing the CBI plea asserts that the CBI has enough evidence to take the case forward. He will file his objections on the case today, Jan 4.

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