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Quattrocchi bank accounts row, HC refuses Centre's plea
March 07, 2006 21:45 IST
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to entertain the Centre's plea for dismissing a petition challenging the government's decision to de-freeze the London bank accounts of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in the Bofors payoffs scandal.
A division bench of Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Rekha Sharma while declining to concede the plea made by the Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra posted the matter for arguments to April 17.
Appearing for the Union government, Malhotra sought dismissal of the public interest litigation filed by the Rashtriya Mukti Morcha on the ground that it was politically motivated.
He pleaded that the petition should not be entertained as it was a "Political Interest Litigation" and claimed that the same organisation had filed three such petitions in different courts earlier too which were dismissed.
However, senior counsel P N Lekhi appearing for the petitioner denied the submissions made by the additional solictor general and pleaded that the petition should be heard in public interest.
Following the brief arguments the Bench said it was posting the matter for further hearings on April 17. The petition filed by the organisation's president Ravinder Kumar has urged the court to direct the government to re-freeze the frozen bank accounts of Quattrocchi who was wanted by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the alleged kicbacks.It was alleged that the recent decision by the Centre to "facilitate" de-freezing of the Italian businessman's bank accounts was on account of his high connections with those at the helm of affairs in the United Progressive Alliance government.