Rejecting criticism of the decision to remove Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi from Interpol’s list of wanted people, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today it was “not good” to “harass” any person when the “world says we have no case”.
He 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.
He said the case did not show the Indian legal system in good light.
"It's not a good reflection on the Indian legal system that we harass people while the world says we have no case. The Interpol had asked the government of India that why do you want to treat him under the Red Corner Notice."
"Therefore the matter was referred to the law ministry and then to the Attorney General, who gave the advice that there is no case for keeping the Red Corner Notice. Even (then) the issue is now before the court," he added.
In November 2008, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the advice of the Attorney General removed Quattrocchi's name from the look-out notices issued by Interpol. The revelation earlier this week created a big furore with the opposition slamming the government, accusing it of trying to hush up the case.
Quattrocchi, accused by the CBI of receiving millions of dollars in commissions for helping to fix the $1.4 billion gun deal in the mid-1980s, was detained in February 2007 in Argentina on the basis of an Interpol warrant, while he was holidaying with his wife.