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CPI demands special probe into Bofors case

New Delhi: The CPI on Wednesday demanded a special probe into the Bofors case at the earliest, saying the Income Tax tribunal`s ruling had put the Congress leadership in the dock once again.

"Bofors is the first big political corruption case that rocked the country. The failure to find out and punish the guilty caused immense harm, and much larger corruption is continuing on gigantic scale," the party`s Central Secretariat said in a statement while demanding special investigation into Bofors case in an expeditious manner.

"This (closure of the case) should not have been allowed.

The case should be pursued," it said, adding that the exposure of Bofors case put the Congress leadership "once again in the dock".

Observing that the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal`s ruling showed that Win Chaddha and Ottavio Quattrocchi had received kickbacks and therefore directed to pay tax on it, the party said, "Now it is the turn of the CBI to reply why they could not unearth the truth, while the Income Tax tribunal could find it out."

"The way the case was closed and the frozen bank accounts of Quattrochi released raises many doubts. CPI raised objections on this issue then also," it said, adding, while Chaddha died, Quattrocchi was "allowed to go out from India and his accounts were cleared, thus allowing the guilty to escape from punishment".

In its ruling, the ITAT had said kickbacks of Rs 61 crore were paid to late Chaddha and Italian businessman Quattrocchi in the Howitzer gun deal and they are liable to pay tax in India on such income.

However, pressing for closure of the case against Quattrocchi, the CBI yesterday contended before a Delhi Court that there was "nothing new" in the ITAT order that would obstruct the withdrawal of the over two-decade-old criminal proceedings.

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