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Thursday 26 April 2012

Scam is the virus which has Inflicted the governement of India.As if current scams were not evough, Boforce case has surfaced once agian. The parliament has to be engaged, it is sure. Reforms has got a very good By Pass to please Foreign capital as w

Scam is the virus which has Inflicted the governement of India.As if current scams were not evough, Boforce case has surfaced once agian. The parliament has to be engaged, it is sure. Reforms has got a very good By Pass to please Foreign capital as well as India incs!

Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time - Eight HUNDRED THIRTY

Palash Biswas
Scam is the virus which has Inflicted the governement of India.As if current scams were not evough, Boforce case has surfaced once agian. The parliament has to be engaged, it is sure. Reforms has got a very good By Pass to please Foreign capital as well as India incs!Bofors - the gun deal scam which refuses to die away. Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi lost the 1989 general elections after the scam. Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, who allegedly received kicbacks in the gun deal and the last living accused, was discharged in the case in March 2010Today the Bofors case is closed in the courts-key middleman Ottavio Quattrochi let off and many questions still unanswered. 25 years later-the truth of what happened when the Bofors deal was inked remains a mystery and the political storm is yet to die..The Government on Wednesday ordered a fresh probe into the allegations of malpractices in procuring 12 helicopters for the VVIP Communication Squadrons of the Indian Air Force (IAF) from Italian firm Agusta Westland.Given that procurement of military hardware involves kickbacks - as reminiscent of the mid-1980s Bofors scandal that triggered the collapse of the Rajiv Gandhi government - tensions in civil-military relations are inevitable.

'A K Antony's office receives something like ten letters a week, all alleging corruption. That works out to better than an allegation a day on average, holidays included.'

"Any such complaint or allegation received will be investigated and the contractual provisions will be invoked, in case any wrong doing is established, in addition to action that may be required under law," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, replying to a question by reporters on the issue outside Parliament House, Mr. Antony said he would "seriously" pursue the inquiry into allegations of corruption in the chopper deal.

"I can assure you I will seriously pursue the inquiry," he said, adding that in February also, the Ministry had asked the Indian Embassy in Rome to provide a report on an investigation carried out by Italy on the issue.

"When previously the reports appeared, I had asked the Defence Secretary to immediately inquire into it. He wrote to the Indian Ambassador in Italy and he got the report," Mr. Antony said.

The Defence Ministry in its statement said, "There were media reports also in February 2012 about investigations undertaken by Italian authorities into alleged unethical dealings by Finmeccanica Italy (the parent company of Agusta Westland). Following this, information was sought by the Defence Ministry from the Indian Embassy in Rome.

"The Indian Embassy reported that the Italian authorities were conducting preliminary investigations on allegations of financial malpractices occurring within Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries in general," it said.

On the other hand,S&P today cut its India outlook to negative from stable, and warned of a sovereign downgrade in two years if the fiscal and current account situations do not improve and the political climate continues to worsen.Terming Standard and Poor's decision to lower India's credit rating outlook to negative as a "timely warning", Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said there is no need to panic as the government is committed to economic reforms.

"I am concerned but I don't feel panicky because I am confident that our economy will grow at 7 per cent, around 7 per cent if not plus. We will be able to control fiscal deficit and it will be around 5.1 per cent", he told reporters here.

The Minister, however, said that government will take note of the S&P's decision to lower India's rating outlook to BBB — (the lowest investment grade rating) and work for achieving higher economic growth.

"So economic reforms will be on track. The reform process and necessary administrative decisions required to ensure that fiscal deficit is retained at projected level (will be taken).

"We should continue to work for higher GDP... We will take note. It is a timely warning", the Minister said.

In a wake-up call to the government to put its act together on the macroeconomic front, global rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) on Wednesday scaled down India's credit rating outlook from 'stable' (BBB+) to 'negative' (BBB-) with a warning of a downgrade if there is no improvement in the fiscal situation and political climate.

Giving reasons for downgrading India's sovereign rating outlook to the lowest investment grade and just one step away from junk bond status, S&P credit analyst Takahira Ogawa said: "The outlook revision reflects our view of at least a one-in-three likelihood of a downgrade if the external position continues to deteriorate, growth prospects diminish, or progress on fiscal reforms remains slow in a weakened political setting."

Alongside, as a reflection of the "outlook on the sovereign credit rating on India," the S&P also lowered the rating outlook of the country's 10 top banks which include the State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank.

Other banks which would also suffer collateral damage are Axis Bank, Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank, Syndicate Bank and Union Bank of India.

Mind you,Tatra agreement was signed in the Rajiv Gandhi era. What is more, it might have happened at a time when the then prime minister was simultaneously holding the defence portfolio.

To go back a quarter of a century in time, V P Singh was abruptly shunted out, for whatever reason, from the finance ministry in January 1987, and thrust into the defence ministry. He lasted barely two-and-a-half months in his new post, resigning -- or being forced to resign -- in April 1987.

In a delicious irony, the reason was that he had, reportedly without keeping Rajiv Gandhi in the loop, ordered an investigation into the purchase of HDW submarines from Germany This was resented by the Congress -- then still called the 'Congress (Indira)' -- because the investigation seemingly called Indira Gandhito account; the agreement was signed in 1981 when the Congress matriarch ruled India [ Images ].

Be that as it may, Rajiv Gandhi then took over the defence ministry temporarily. It was a masterpiece of poor timing; literally days after V P Singh's leaving, a Swedish radio station broke the news of the Bofors scandal, and Rajiv Gandhi's image never recovered.

Speaking of Bofors, during the heyday of the scandal one of the Congress's chief talking points was that Rajiv Gandhi had taken the initiative to bar middlemen from anything related to defence procurement. Remember this point, it is important.

Twenty-five years ago a defence minister known as 'Mr Clean' got into trouble for probing a deal that was struck by a previous government, one in which the prime minister was an iconic figure in the Congress. Was it Mark Twain that said, 'History does not repeat itself but it does rhyme'?

Law minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday said the Bofors gun deal was a "closed" chapter, but the BJP and the Left demanded an explanation from the government on former Swedish police chief Sten Lindstrom's revelations in the payoff scandal. The ghost of Bofors has returned again and former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi and Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan are the two men who are once again at the centre of it. 25 years after the sensational Bofors gun scam broke, Sweden's chief investigator Sten Lindstrom, who conducted the investigations, has done some plain speak. Sten Lindstrom has owned up to being the informant of journalist Chitra Subramanian who had broken the story.

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has heaved a sigh of relief after 25 years as he was a given a clean chit in the Bofors scam by the whistleblower. Sweden's chief investigator Sten Lindstrom, who conducted the investigations said that Amitabh Bachchan's name was planted by Indian investigating agencies.

Speaking on Amitabh Bachchan, he said, "They gave me a list of names to pursue including the name of Amitabh Bachchan. The Indian investigators planted the Bachchan angle."

According to him, Amitabh Bachchan's name was planted by Indian investigating agencies and Rajiv Gandhi was not a direct recipient of any bribe in the scandal. Speaking on Rajiv Gandhi, Lindstrom said, "There was no evidence that Rajiv Gandhi had received any bribe. But he watched the massive cover-up in India and Sweden and did nothing."

Speaking on Amitabh Bachchan, he said, "They gave me a list of names to pursue including the name of Amitabh Bachchan. The Indian investigators planted the Bachchan angle."

Reacting to the revelation, Jaya Bachchan said, "How does it matter now?"

On the role of Rajiv Gandhi's close friend Arun Nehru, Lindstrom said, "Martin Arbdo, the then Managing Director of Bofors, had written in his notes that the identity of N (Nehru) becoming public was a minor concern but at no cost could the identity of Q (Quattrocchi) be revealed because of his closeness to R (Rajiv Gandhi). He had also mentioned a meeting between an AE Services official and a Gandhi trustee lawyer in Geneva. This was a political payment."

In his interview to Chitra Subramanian, the whistleblower, Sten Lindstrom also brought up the name of Former Union Minister Arun Nehru. Lindstrom claims that then Bofors Boss Matin Ardbo was concerned about his name being dragged into the scam.

Arun Nehru till date has denied the allegations. Today he said there's nothing new in Lindstrom's allegations, but with reports also emerging that the Swedish investigative officer also wrote to the Defence Minister in the NDA Govt to probe political protection Quatrocchi enjoyed the question is who was ensuring the Bofors’ tracks were covered?

As news of the Bofors whistleblowers tell all interview to journalist Chitra Subramaniam spread, there was hectic political activity with charges and counter charges flying and the layers within-what Lindstrom was claiming became evident.

Lindstorm claimed the Martin Ardbo was concerned about the role of Arun Nehru, who told Bofors that his and Rajiv Gandhi's name should not appear. Nehru who was a minister in the Rajiv government has dismissed these charges flatly.

Sources say that whistleblower Lindstrom also had written to former defence minister George Fernandes seeking action on his allegations that Quattrocchi was being protected.

The revelations were interpreted differently by the BJP and the Congress. "We always knew that Rajiv Gandhi was innocent, this just proves our point," Law Minister Salman Khurshid said.

Addressing a media conference, BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, "The way Quattrocchi was helped to move out of the country gave a clear indication of the government's intention. We have always raised the question on Quattrocchi."

Another senior BJP leader, Murli Manohar Joshi, said that the government must look into the issue again, alleging that several people were yet to be named. He said that the names must come out.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, "The CBI never did its job properly."

Sensing that questions may once again be posed against its own conduct and why it met Sten only once, the CBI was quick to issue a clarification. It responded saying, "As a policy, they never meet any investigating agency in foreign countries, they only send letter rogatories."
The Bofors revelation that led to the decline of the Rajiv Gandhi government still evokes sharp reactions. The BJP has now demanded fresh investigation into the case.

Calling it an emotional issue, Amitabh Bachchan said, "No parents wants to see their children involved in issues which are as serious as the Bofors case."

Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Bachchan said, "There were insinuations, abuses, castigation everyday in the newspapers, it was a painful exercise for me. My parents tolerated it for quite some time."
When asked whether he suspected anyone for planting stories against him, Bachchan said, "I'm not interested in knowing who planted my name."

Bachchan also said that quitting politics was his own decision and had nothing to do with Bofors. "Stories that I left politics because of Bofors are untrue. I left politics much before the Bofors accusations came up. I never knew politics," he said.

Talking about the lessons learnt from this, Bachchan said, "There have been many lessons learnt, the truth prevails and conscience prevails."

The CBI on Wednesday said it is not going to have a re-look in the 23-year-old Bofors payoffs case in the wake of claims made by former Swedish police chief Sten Lindstrom in a media interview.

CBI sources ruled out any such possibility, saying it has conducted a comprehensive probe of the matter and filed its charge sheet in the case.

On the allegations by Lindstrom, who had headed the probe in Sweden, that the CBI did not attempt to meet him, agency sources said it does not procure information from foreign investigators directly through personal meetings and the proper channel of getting probe details is judicial requests which were sent to Sweden in connection with the Bofors case.

They said relevant information was sought from Sweden through Letters Rogatory issued by Indian courts which were complied with.

On the allegations that name of Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan was planted by the agency officials in media in connection with the case, CBI sources said since his name was neither part of FIR nor charge sheet, there was no question of giving any such information to media.

CBI sources said as far as allegations of protecting Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, who is alleged to have received payoff in the case, is concerned, the agency had tried its best to extradite him and even gone to Malayasia and Argentina for the purpose but could not succeed.

Last year in March, a Delhi court had allowed a CBI plea seeking withdrawal of prosecution against the elusive Quattrocchi in the two-decade-old Bofors payoff case.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court on February 4, 2004 had quashed all charges under Prevention of Corruption Act and bribery against Europe-based Hinduja brothers -- SP Hinduja, GP Hinduja and PP Hinduja. The High Court had also given clean chit to Rajiv Gandhi and SK Bhatnagar who were dead.

Khurshid demanded that people who had alleged "I don't think we can continue to reopen these issues--we don't want a new chapter to be opened. The final decision of the Supreme Court should not be reopened," said Khurshid.

Meanwhile,The CBI has expanded its probe into the Tatra vehicles case to two more countries as it plans to send judicial requests to Hong Kong and Singapore seeking details of a company which held substantial shares in in Tatra Sipox UK.

This is in addition to the four countries-- United Kingdom, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Lichtenstein -- where operations of Vectra Chairman Ravinder Rishi were traced and the agency had earlier planned to send Letters Rogatory, CBI sources said.

The agency is likely to seek information from Hong Kong and Singapore about Venus Projects Hong Kong which held substantial shares, nearly 50 per cent till 2009, in Tatra Sipox UK which is already under CBI scanner in the deal, they said.

A British National, Rishi has been questioned a number of times by the CBI in connection with the case and based on documents accessed by the agency and his replies, the agency has decided to approach authorities of Hong Kong and Singapore as well, the sources said.

Rishi has refuted allegations of any wrong doing.

CBI has alleged that Tatra Sipox UK signed the truck supply deal with defence PSU BEML which was in alleged violation of defence procurement rules which say that procurement should be done directly from original equipment manufacturer only.

The CBI has alleged that since Tatra Sipox UK was not the original manufacturer of these all terrain trucks, the rule that defence procurements should be made from original manufacturer was allegedly violated.

Meanwhile, the agency has found in its probe that the promised indigenisation of Tatra all-terrain trucks by BEML was very slow, the CBI sources said.

The CBI has alleged in its FIR that although it was decided that BEML would do 100 per cent indigenisation of the Tatra trucks so that they could be produced in India but the PSU could achieve only 40 per cent of the objective.

After the division of Czechcoslovakia, BEML had entered into deal with Tatra Sipox UK in 1997 which had allegedly nothing to do with Czech Republic based Tatra a.s or Slovakia based Tatra Sipox AS, they said.

This contract was renewed in 2003, four years ahead of scheduled renewal of 1997 contract with Tatra Sipox UK, the sources said.

During the probe, the CBI has also found that supply of spares was allegedly erratic and a large number of trucks remained unused because of lack of spare parts.

"I don't want to start another proceeding beyond the proceedings of the Supreme Court of our country. The decision of the Supreme Court is final and the matter has been closed. I don't think we should continue for the rest of the life of the present generation of politicians to reopen this every few months."

Khurshid accused the Opposition of making "wild allegations" against Gandhi.

"It is a matter of regret that without having any proof, such serious charges were levelled (against Rajiv Gandhi). The same people are not ready to feel sorry even today. They should apologise before the public," he said.

The BJP and the Left rejected the government's stand and demanded an explanation on Lindstrom's revelations, including the safe passage to Ottavio Quattrochchi, an Italian businessman who was the main accused in the case. The BJP said it had always questioned the safe passage to Quattrochchi.

"The entire government of late Rajiv Gandhi was out to secure Ottavio Quattrochchi. What was his link with the government and with the Gandhi family that the entire government was there to bail him out... it is a serious matter," said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The CPI sought the government's response on Lindstrom's revelations.

"The government and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cannot ignore this revelation. They have to come forward with a response on how Quattrochchi was allowed or could go scott free or could have a safe passage from India," said CPI leader D Raja.

Lindstrom, head of the Swedish police when the Bofors scandal broke in 1987, handed evidence seized during his investigation to Indian newspapers, including to journalist Chitra Subramaniam-Duella. The case revolved around the sale of 410 artillery guns to India by Swedish arms group AB Bofors, which was subsequently accused of paying bribes of up to $1.3 billion.

V.S. Achuthanandan has demanded Defence Minister A. K. Antony's resignation "for his irresponsible handling" of the country security issues.

Mr. Achuthanandan told a news conference here on Friday that there was no point in Mr. Antony continuing in office harking back to his resignation as Civil Supplies Minister following the sugar import scandal. The Ministry of Defence had never faced such grave charges as has been raised in connection with purchase of trucks for the Indian army. In the present instance, none other than the Army Chief himself had told Mr. Antony about the offer of Rs.14 crore as bribe to him. Mr. Antonys' claim was that he did not act on the Army Chief's statement as he had not given it in writing. Mr. Antony's not to have the matter investigated was deliberate, he said.

Mr. Antony, he said, had no moral right to continue in office given the developments which seemed to suggest that chaos prevailed at the top echelons of the country's armed forces. He could not claim immunity on the plea that everybody knew that he was incorruptible. Besides the Army Chief, some of his Cabinet colleagues also had apprised him of the corruption in his department. But he had not acted in the matter. When the Bofors scandal, involving pay-offs of the order of Rs.64 crore, came to light, there was an attempt to save the main accused like Ottavio Quattrocchi. At that time too, what Mr. Antony had done was to observe silence.


Replying to questions, Mr. Achuthanandan said the unresponsive attitude of the Congress leadership to Muslim League president Panakkad Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal's statement that his party would have a fifth Minister was noteworthy. Once the late Muslim League leader Seethi Haji had stated that if Thangal demanded something, it would be delivered on a golden platter at Panakkad (the seat of the Thangal family). However, in the present instance, the Mr. Shihab Thangal had travelled all way to Thiruvananthapuram, taken a detour on learning that the Chief Minister was in Kottayam and declared on reaching Thiruvananthapuram that the League would get a fifth Minister. Thus, one could imagine what was happening in all these matters, Mr. Achuthanandan said.

India | Posted on Apr 03, 2012 at 07:11pm IST
How Indian armed forces buy their million-dollar weapons
Priyarag Verma,

New Delhi: There is no business like the business of war. A war involves the use of weapons and its business is not only very dangerous, but also very rewarding. India with its hostile neighbours, large defence force and burgeoning economy provides the perfect setting for a thriving weapons platforms market.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a global think tank that tracks the defence expenditure of all the countries, India is world's largest importer of arms and bought arms worth over $50 billion in the last 10 years.
In the last five years alone the Ministry of Defence has signed almost 500 contracts worth Rs 2 lakh crore and in the next 10 years the Indian armed forces plan to import weapon systems worth over $100 billion, making the country a must on the radar of all the major weapons platform makers even as the annual defence budget of the world in 2011-12 was over $ 1,500 billion.

The indigenous defence industrial complex in India has consistently failed to cater to the ever-increasing demand of the defence forces leaving the field open for foreign companies to peddle their latest hardware. Surrounded by hostile neighbours and also facing internal disturbances particularly in the North East and Jammu and Kashmir, the armed forces are always on the lookout for the latest weapons systems and related paraphernalia.
With the threat perception increasing day by day and technological advances taking place at the blink of an eye, the Indian defence forces have been looking at the foreign companies for the latest weapons.
This big, bad world of arms market has spawned a host of middlemen, many of them retired defence officials representing foreign companies, who try to influence the weapons systems that the Indian soldier should be armed with. Bofors scandal which broke out in 1987 and led to the rout of the then ruling Congress party under Rajiv Gandhi in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections and the Kargil Coffin scam of 1999 are just two of the more famous defence scams.
As soon as the news of the requirement of a new weapons system comes out, these brokers get active and try to influence the purchase. Since even the smallest of the defence deals run is worth several crores of rupees so the windfall for these brokers, who get huge commission to swing the contracts, is enormous. These brokers try to meet the serving defence officers and even the political leadership involved in finalising the contract to get the deal in the favour of the companies they represent.
According to the Defence Procurement Procedure - 2011 no middleman or brokers should be employed by the foreign companies to lobby for any contract. All contracts worth more than Rs 100 crore should have integrity clause whereby if there was any manipulation or deviation from the tender clauses, heavy penalty could be imposed on the offender and even the deal scrapped. The Ministry of Defence has also mandated that all weapons platforms should be bought from the manufacturer directly and not involve any marketing agency.
Most of the defence deals in India are now conducted through the Foreign Military Sale to prevent brokers from influencing the contract. But such sales are time consuming and lead to inordinate delays, cost escalation and leave the forces operating with outdated weapons systems.
The entire process to buy any hardware for the defence forces goes through a long process involving the Services Headquarters, Defence Acquisition Council, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Finance and Cabinet Committee on Security.
However, none of the safeguards put up by the government have deterred brokers from trying their luck, sometimes with success, in swinging the deals in favour of the companies they represent.
The entire process of procuring arms and weapons platform for the defence forces follows a long-winded process which to the civilian may appear as unnecessary, but is extremely important as it not only involves the life of the soldiers, it also deals with national security.
For any weapons systems needed by the defence forces the first process is preparing the General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR). The GSQR details the requirements of the forces and what they are looking for in a weapons platform. But the GSQR can be written or prepared in such a way that it favours a particular company or system. The unscrupulous elements can use money as well as honey traps to lure the defence officials involved in preparing the GSQR in favour of the organisation that they represent.
After the GSQR is finalised the process moves forward with the Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal (RFP). As the name suggest RFI is used to get information about the weapons. After the RFI process is completed, the RPF is put into motion and the tendering for acquiring the system begins.
The Services Headquarters decides on the operational requirements as well as the technical parameters of the system keeping in view security considerations
The companies interested in selling their armaments submit their tenders and proposals which has both the technical as well as the financial details. Here too money and/ or honey traps can be used to prepare the tender rules to favour a certain company/ weapons system.
The technical offers are then evaluated by a Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) to check their compliance with the RFP. The weapons systems of all TEC cleared companies are then put through a field trial evaluation. The gruelling field evaluation takes places in several regions of the country and under different weather conditions. The entire process can take several months.
A big loophole in the field trial report is that it can be written in such a way that it favours a particular weapons platform.
Based on the field evaluation report the vendors who clear by the hurdle now face the Contract Negotiations Committee, which decides on the lowest cost bidder (L1) and concludes the contract. The rules can be changed at this stage too and former defence officials used to manipulate the entire process.
The company that wins the contract then has to give the details of the product support for time period specified in the RFP, which includes spares and maintenance tools for field and component level repairs.
After this the final proposal is sent to the Cabinet Committee on Security for clearance. But at this stage political interference and manipulation cannot be ruled out. As a result the entire process can be stalled or the contract can even be cancelled.
If the Cabinet Committee on Security clears the proposal, the contract is signed and the weapons platform inducted into the armed forces.
But as it is clear there can be many a slip between the cup and the lip.

Bofors scandal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Bofors scandal was a major corruption scandal in India in the 1980s and 1990s; initiated by Congress politicians and implicating theprime ministerRajiv Gandhi and several others who were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India's155 mm field howitzer. The scale of the corruption was far worse than any that India had seen before and directly led to the defeat of Gandhi's ruling Indian National Congress party in the November 1989 general elections. It has been speculated that the scale of the scandal was to the tune of 640 Million Rupees.[1] The case came into light during Vishwanath Pratap Singh's tenure as defence minister, and was revealed through investigative journalism by Chitra Subramaniam and N. Ram of the newspapers the Indian Express and The Hindu.[2]
The middleman associated with the scandal was Ottavio Quattrocchi, an Italian businessman who represented the petrochemicals firmSnamprogetti. Quattrocchi was reportedly close to the family of Gandhi and emerged as a powerful broker in the 1980s between big businesses and the Indian government. While the case was being investigated, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 for an unrelated cause by the LTTE. In 1997, the Swiss banks released some 500 documents after years of legal battle and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a case against Quattrocchi, Win ChadhaRajiv Gandhi, the defence secretary S. K. Bhatnagar and a number of others.[3] In the meantime, Win Chadha also died.[4]
Meanwhile February 5, 2004, the Delhi High Court quashed the charges of bribery against Rajiv Gandhi and others,[5] but the case is still being tried on charges of cheating, causing wrongful loss to the government, etc. On May 31, 2005, the High Court of Delhi dismissed the Bofors case allegations against the British business brothers, Shrichand, Gopichand and Prakash Hinduja, but charges against others remain.[6]
In December 2005, Mr B. Daat, the additional solicitor general of India, acting on behalf of the Indian Government and the CBI, requested the British Government that two British bank accounts of Ottavio Quattrocchi be unfrozen on the grounds of insufficient evidence to link these accounts to the Bofors payoff. The two accounts, containing € 3 million and $1 million, had been frozen. On January 16, the Indian Supreme Court directed the Indian government to ensure that Ottavio Quattrocchi did not withdraw money from the two bank accounts in London. The CBI, the Indian federal law enforcement agency, on January 23, 2006 admitted that roughly Rs 21 crore, about US $4.6 million, in the two accounts have already been withdrawn by the accused. The British government released the funds later.[7].
However, on January 16, 2006, CBI claimed in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court that they were still pursuing extradition orders for Quattrocchi. The Interpol, at the request of the CBI, has a long-standing red corner notice to arrest Quattrocchi.[8] Quattrocchi was detained in Argentina on 6 February 2007, but the news of his detention was released by the CBI only on 23 February. Quattrocchi was released by Argentinian police. However, his passport was impounded and he was not allowed to leave the country.[9]
However, as there was no extradition treaty between India and Argentina, the case was presented in the Argentine Supreme Court. The government of India lost the extradition case as the government of India did not provide a key court order which was the basis of Quattrochi's arrest. In the aftermath, the government did not appeal this decision because of delays in securing an official English translation of the court's decision.[10]
A Delhi court provided temporary relief for Quattrocchi from the case, for lack of sufficient evidence against him, on 4 March 2011.[11] However the case is still going on. Despite the controversy the Bofors gun was used extensively as the primary field artillery during the Kargil dispute with Pakistan and gave India 'an edge' against Pakistan according to battlefield commanders.[12]

[edit]See also


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