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SC asks details on Quattrocchi's extradition
February 26, 2007 11:41 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday sought details from the government on the steps taken for the extradition of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in the Bofors pay-off case, and his detention in Argentina earlier in February.
A bench headed by Justice C K Thakker issued notices to the Centre and the Central Bureau and sought their replies within a week.
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subrahmaniam, while accepting the notices, said that a special team of the CBI is being sent to Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, for expediting the extradition process.
The court issued the direction after a lawyer, Ashok Aggarwal who had filed a public interest litigation on the issue, made a mention of Quattrocchi's detention at Iguazu international airport in Buenos Aires on February 6 on the basis of a Red Corner Notice issued by Interpol at the behest of the CBI.
He alleged that though the CBI had the knowledge of his detention as earlier as on February seven, it kept the matter under wraps for obvious reasons.
The bench then remarked it was a serious matter. Later, Subrahmaniam told PTI that Quattrocchi's extradition has to be decided by the Argentinean government and the local court there.
He said two countries have no extradition agreement at present and that could make it difficult for the Indian government in its attempt to get his extradition.
Aggarwal moved the apex court on Saturday seeking a direction to the CBI to submit status report on the steps taken for Quattrocchi's extradition.
The application contended that the CBI withholding information about Quattrocchi's detention in Argentina amounted to contempt of court.
The application said since Indian government was not having extradition treaty with Argentina, there was apprehension that the CBI may not be able to get Quattrocchi back."It has, therefore, become necessary for the petitioner to approach this court for direction to CBI and other authorities in the government to take immediate steps to accomplish extradition of fugitive Ottavio Quattrocchi, lest he again becomes scarce to CBI, which is already having a lukewarm approach in the matter favouring Quattrocchi," the application said.