CBI opposes plea to stall withdrawal of case against Quattrocchi

CBI opposes plea to stall withdrawal of case against Quattrocchi

"Publicity and politics" have no role to play in such matters and the plea of a private party against the CBI's move to close the case be rejected, the probe agency submitted before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja. A private party has no locus to stand in a matter between the court and the CBI and such a petition be turned down at the outset, it said.

CBI was responding to the application of advocate Ajay Agrawal who has challenged its move saying it was trying to close the "politically-sensitive" case despite having "sufficient evidence" against the 69-year-old Italian businessman.

Earlier, CBI's prosecutor U S Prasad had filed an application before the court seeking withdrawal of the case against Quattrocchi on the ground that "continuance of his prosecution will be unjustified."

The agency had said it arrived at the conclusion after its failure on two occasions to get the Italian businessman extradited from Malaysia and Argentina to face trial. It was claimed by the agency that the plea to withdraw the case was filed in "good faith and in public interest."

"In any event, the attempts to secure the presence of Quattrocchi from Malaysia and Argentina have failed ... The Malaysian court has also touched upon the merits of the case," Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra and advocate Naveen K Matta had submitted.

The court, which did not pass any order on the CBI plea, had asked the agency to file its response on Agrawal's application and posted the matter for further hearing on Friday.

Quattrocchi is the sole surviving accused in the two-decade-old case after the Delhi High Court quashed the charges against other accused on May 31, 2005. He has never appeared before any court in the country.

CBI had failed on two occasions in its attempt to get Quattrocchi extradited-- first from Malaysia in 2003 and then from Argentina in 2007.  CBI had later asked the Interpol to take Quattrocchi's name off the Red Corner Notice list.

This was done following a communication from CBI on the basis of the opinion of the then Attorney General Milon K Banerji, who was approached by the agency last year for his view on whether Quattrocchi's name should continue in the list.

The court after hearing the brief arguments reserved it order for October 24.

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