No decision till March 31 on dropping Quattrocchi name | india | Hindustan Times
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No decision till March 31 on dropping Quattrocchi name

india Updated: Nov 06, 2009 14:29 IST

A city court on Friday deferred till March 31 next year a decision on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea to withdraw Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi's name from the Bofors gun deal pay off case.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja in an in-chamber hearing informed the CBI counsel that since the original record pertaining to this case was in Supreme Court, the city court can not pass any order.

Baweja had Oct 24 deferred the case to Nov 6 and now the next date of hearing has been fixed March 31, 2010.

The CBI had Oct 3 moved an application before a court here to quash all charges against Quattrocchi in the two-decade-old Bofors payoff case, saying the case cannot be kept pending forever as attempts to extradite him have failed in the past.

"The continued prosecution of Quattrocchi is unjustified in the light of various factors, including the failed attempts to extradite him," Additional Solicitor General PP Malhotra - appearing for the CBI - had said before the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Baweja.

In a 1987 broadcast, a Swedish radio station alleged that nearly Rs.64 crore ($13 million) were paid in kickbacks to the Congress party and the Rajiv Gandhi government for the multi-billion dollar Bofors howitzer deal. The scandal shook the nation and Rajiv Gandhi lost his two-thirds majority in parliament in the post-Bofors election two years later.