Order on plea for closing case against Quattrocchi on Feb 21

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) A Delhi court will decide onFebruary 21 whether to accept CBI''s plea for closing the caseagainst Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, chargesheetedfor allegedly receiving a payoff of USD 7.32 million forbrokering Rs 64 crore Bofors gun deal.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav reserved hisorder on the CBI plea, observing that the case has "not movedan inch" in the last 23 to 24 years and asking the agency asto how much of total money has been spent on the probe intothe case.

While reserving his order, CMM Yadav sternly turneddown the plea of advocate Ajay Agrawal, who has been agitatingin various courts for extradition of Quattrocchi to India, togive him some more time to provide the court some crucialinformation, which he expected from the Central InformationCommission.

"Since, this court has heard the argument, there is nopoint in holding back the order for the information of theCentral Information Commission (CIC). Put the matter forpronouncement of order on February 21," CMM Yadav said.

On a contention, raised by Agrawal that CBI''s plea forclosing the case was against the public interest, the courtasked the CBI about the total money spent on the investigationof the case.

"Do we have any rough calculation that how much moneyhas been spent on this case. Is the figure of around Rs 250crore, mentioned in the Delhi High Court''s order correct?,"the CMM asked the CBI, which, however, said that it has noready-made calculation.

At one point, when Agrawal, in a bid to demonstrateQuattrocchi''s closeness to the family of Congress presidentSonia Gandhi, was reading statements of various politiciansand senior Army officials, recorded by the agency during theprobe into the case, the CMM remarked that all the statementshave coincidentally been recorded during the BJP regime.

During the hearing, advocate Agrawal, who has beenopposing the CBI plea for closure of the case againstQuattrocchi, pleaded that the court should wait for the CIC''sdecision, likely to be delivered within this month, as itwould prove crucial for the court in deciding the CBI''s plea.

Agrawal apprised the court that he had filed an appealbefore the CIC after CBI refused to provide him informationunder the Right to Information (RTI) Act and the matter hadbeen taken up by the CIC yesterday.

Turning down Agrawal''s plea, the court said, "AdvocateAgrawal is at liberty to place on record the documents/informations which he receives from the CIC. But he will notbe given any further chance to advance his arguments in thismatter." .

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