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Home > News > PTI

SC declines urgent hearing on PIL on Quattrocchi issue

January 13, 2006 17:22 IST

The Supreme Courton Fridaydeclined an urgent hearing to the petition challenging the government's stand before the British authorities to defreeze bank accounts of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, who is an accused in the Bofors pay-off case.

When a plea was made by advocate Ajay Agarwal during the mentioning hour for early hearing before a Bench headed by Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, he was directed to fulfil the technicalities in this regard.

The petition, which was filedon Thursdaywith the registry was yet to be allocated with the diary number.

"First get the petition registered and listed in the Mentioning List," the Bench said and even warned him not to refer to the newspaper reports when the counsel orally wanted to apprise the court of the incident, which has evoked a political controversy.

He reminded the Bench that a petition filed by him challenging the High Court verdict discharging Europe-based Hinduja brothers in the case has been admitted by the Apex Court. However, this did not impress the Bench and he was asked to complete technicalities required for hearing a petition.

The petition filed by Agarwal has quoted Law Minister H R Bhardwaj virtually giving a clean chit to Quattrocchi saying that CBI has no evidence against the Italian businessman and 'therefore the law officer (Additional Solicitor General B Dutta) was sent to London with a request for defreezing of accounts'.

Thepublic interest litigationhas sought a direction for Dutta to produce letter/authority, which he personally carried to the Crown Prosecution Service for defreezing the accounts.

He has contended that it should be made clear as under whose instruction he visited London on December 22 last year to submit that CBI had found no evidence to link the money stashed in his two bank accounts - three million euro and $1 million- with the Bofors pay-off case.

In the petition, the advocate has said the government should be stopped from making any such plea before the CPS since the case was pending before a Designated Court here.

Mainatining that CBI on December 20 last had stated before the Chief Metropolitan Megistrate that all efforts were being made to bring Quattrocchi to stand trial in the case, he sought a direction for the agency to produce entire documents and evidence against him.

Besides, the advocate has also named Law Minister H R Bhardwaj as a respondent, questioning that how he was giving statements to the media that there was no evidence against Quattrocchi even when a Interpol Red Corner notice was still valid.

Complete coverage: Bofors, the smoking gun

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