CBI on Saturday told a Delhi court that there was no point in seeking prosecution of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi in the Bofors pay-off case as repeated attempts to extradite him had failed and two decades had already elapsed in the case.
"The government of India has already approved of the withdrawal of the case against Quattrocchi by an order on September 28, 2009. More than 19 years in the case have already passed while several attempts to bring him to the country also failed," Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra submitted.
The senior counsel was arguing afresh on behalf of CBI on an application filed in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to withdraw the case against Quattrocchi.
He also told the magistrate that the court had no power to go into the merit of the application filed under Section 321 of the Criminal Procedure Code to withdraw the criminal case against the accused.
"The court is not to examine the merit. It is not to adjudicate. It is only to give its consent for withdrawal of the case after verifying whether prosecutor is acting bonafide or not," Malhotra argued.
The court has only "supervisory jurisdiction" and has to look into whether the application is filed in "good faith" and in "public interest", the counsel contended.
Explaining before the court the chronology of events relating to the case, Malhotra pointed out that the attempts to extradite Quattrocchi had failed in Malaysia and Argentina.
The arguments in the matter was advanced afresh as the trial court had received the case records from the apex court last month.