Staff Reporter | New Delhi
Ajay Agarwal, the advocate who has opposed the move of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to withdraw the case against Ottavio Quattrocchi in the infamous Bofors pay-off scam has raised a question of propriety before a city court on Thursday. Agarwal alleged that senior government law officers, who are handling the case, had defended an accused in the Bofors scam. Agarwal filed his written submissions in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Kaveri Baweja alleging that Solicitor General (SG) Gopal Subramanium and Additional Solicitor General (ASG) PP Malhotra, who are representing the CBI in this case now, had appeared for Win Chaddha who was one of the accused in this case.
"The propriety and professional ethics demand that these counsel who are holding the high offices such as SG and ASG should have refused to accept the brief of Centre and the CBI in this Bofors case, once they had appeared for the accused person," Agarwal submitted before the court. Earlier, ASG Malhotra, on October 9, had questioned locus standi of Agarwal in opposing CBIs application to close the case against Quattrocchi, by claiming that publicity and politics should have no role to play and the petitioner was stranger in the matter.
In his reply, Agarwal countered CBIs plea by stating that the Supreme Court had already accepted his locus in the Bofors case by accepting appeal filed by him against a Delhi High Court verdict. In his reply, Agarwal said, "The Supreme Court has recognized me as a party in the Bofors matter and decided the question of locus standi in my favour by granting permission to file special leave petition."
The investigating agency had, on October 3, sought withdrawal of the case against Quattrocchi saying it has arrived at the conclusion after its failure on two occasions to get Quattrocchi extradited from Malaysia and Argentina to face trial in India. It was claimed by CBI that the plea to withdraw the case was filed in good faith and in public interest Quattrocchi is the sole surviving accused in the case after the Delhi High Court quashed charges against other accused on May 31, 2005.