The BJP on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for justifying the decision to withdraw the name of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in Bofors payoff case, from CBI's list of wanted persons and said his "morally unacceptable defence" marks a "new low" for the office of the PM.
BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley alleged that the government and CBI had "colluded" with Quattrocchi and allowed him to go scotfree despite "voluminous evidence" against him in the Bofors case.
"The Prime Minister's defence is morally unacceptable," Jaitley said here while reacting to Singh's comments in a TV interview that "it is not a good reflection on the Indian legal system that we harass people while the world says we have no case."
"I think the Prime Minister's defence of Quattrochi does a lot of damage to the institution of Prime Minister itself," the BJP leader alleged.
Singh said the Quattrocchi case has been an "embarrassment" for the Indian government as it has failed to get him extradited from Malaysia and Argentina where courts have said "we don't have a strong case" against him.
Rejecting Singh's contention, Jaitley said "it is not a failure of the Indian legal system. It is a collusion of the Congress party and the CBI with the accused."