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Truly, Congress Bureau of Investigation

Truly, Congress Bureau of Investigation

Author: Virendra Kapoor
Publication: Free Press Journal

Two days after a New Delhi newspaper lifted the lid off the conspiracy which allowed the prime Bofors accused, Ottavio Quattrocchi, to go scot free, the Central Bureau of Investigation posted a backgrounder on its website, ostensibly to educate people about the Interpol and the Red Corner Notice. Ironically, the very attempt by the country's premier investigating agency makes you realize that it violated rules in order to grant the Italian wheeler-dealer absolute freedom.

(Notably, on his own admission, Quattrocchi had claimed to be a friend of the Gandhis, a claim never contradicted by Sonia Gandhi or anyone else in the family.) Under the heading, " General Information About Red Corner Notice', the CBI's Information Section put out what it called a `backgrounder' on RCN. And, inter alia, it reads, "RCN is issued by Interpol Headquarters, Lyon (France) to all member- countries of Interpol at the request of a member country. The requesting country makes such a request when the fugitive wanted by it is suspected to be abroad and the competent court has issued a valid arrest warrant against the fugitive." Now, consider the facts. The arrest warrant issued against Quattrocchi by a Delhi court was still valid when the CBI wrote to the Interpol to delete his name from the most wanted list. The CBI did not approach the court for canceling the said arrest warrant. Yet, it took the decision to seek the withdrawal of the Interpol RCN on the basis of the opinion given by Attorney General Milon Banerjee which was, expectedly, endorsed by Law Minister Hansraj Bhardwaj.

In the Delhi court, the CBI was yet to move an application for the cancellation of the arrest warrant, though it had virtually rendered it worthless since the Interpol had been instructed to withdraw Quattrocchi's name from the most wanted list. Now, he was absolutely free to travel abroad, though he may not pick up the courage to come to these shores even if a Congress-led government were to come to power in New Delhi after May 16.

Incidentally, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is the minister in-charge of CBI. He did not know when the CBI gave a clean chit to Jagdish Tytler. And surely he did not know when the CBI removed Q's name from the most wanted list of Interpol. Which leads one to say that either he does not care what goes on under his nose, or, worse, others in the Government and the Congress Party do not care when, behind his back, they dictate to ministries and departments under him. Why he wants name off Interpol list The question as to why the Ottavio Quattrocchi was in such a hurry to have his name deleted from the Interpol list of most wanted fugitives was answered by the BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley. He said that with the G-20 putting pressure to end the protection of secrecy allowed to holders of illicit funds in various tax havens, Quattrocchi was obviously desperate to travel outside Italy to close his secret accounts wherein he might hold the loot he had accumulated as the number one fixer during the time the Gandhis were in power at the Centre. Bofors, according to Jaitley, was only one of the several deals in which Quattrocchi had acted as the middleman. Now, with the Congress-led Government withdrawing the Interpol arrest warrant against him, the Italian wheeler-dealer was free to visit all the tax havens and get hold of his ill-gotten funds.

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