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Advocate challenges CBI move

Advocate challenges CBI move

Author: Political Bureau
Publication: The Economic Times
Date: May 24, 2009
URL: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Advocate-challenges-CBI-move/articleshow/4461491.cms

The CBI's decision to erase the name of Bofors accused Ottavio Quattrocchi from its list of most wanted persons was challenged in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. It is likely to be mentioned before the court on Wednesday.

In an application, advocate Ajay K Agrawal has sought direction of the court to "stay the operation of any withdrawal of Red Corner Notice against accused Quattrocchi".

Mr Agrawal has further sought direction of the court to restore the Red Corner Notice of Interpol against the Italian businessman. "The international agency should be informed immediately so that Quattrocchi could be nabbed and produced before the competent court in India to face trial in the Bofors case," said Mr Agrawal.

The applicant, alleging political compulsion behind agency's move, further said: "It becomes imperative that CBI be called upon to place entire record before this Hon'ble Court pertaining the entire matter. CBI cannot withhold the record from this Hon'ble Court".

The Interpol has taken Quattrocchi's name off the Red Corner Notice following a communication from CBI on the basis of the opinion of Attorney General Milon Banerjee who was approached by the agency last year for his view if it was necessary to continue with alert notice.

The application alleged that Red Corner Notice against Quattrocchi was in existence from 1997 and CBI was again and again making written statements before the Trial Court that efforts for tracing the fugitive are on and as soon as Quattrocchi is held he will be produced before the court".

But the decision of the agency to withdraw the notice on the basis of the opinion furnished by the top legal officer of the country was ladden with political compulsion, alleged the application.

"This is a peculiar case wherein CBI has proved itself to be a tool in the hands of the government, losing its image of being the premier investigating agency of the country", submitted the applicant.

Advocate Agrawal told ET that he will mention the matter before the court on Wednesday. He had also filed a petition in March 2007 accusing CBI and its then director of consistently misleading the court over the extradition proceedings initiated against Quattrocchi.

Agrawal had moved another application questioning government's effort in securing the foreign national's extradition from Argentina after he was detained there in February 2007.

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