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    Bofors: political war begins as CBI drops case

    New Delhi: Chief Metropolitan Magistrate of Tees Hazari Court Justice Vinod Yadav on Friday accepted the CBI's petition of withdrawing prosecution against one of the most wanted men in Bofors Kickback case, Ottavio Quattrocchi.

    The case against Italian businessman Quattrocchi, the main accused in Bofors Gun Deal Kickbacks, was withdrawn citing wastage of time and money.

    A sum of Rs 250 crore has been spent in the investigation and nothing will be gained by continuing any further as all attempts to extradite Quattrocchi have failed in the past, said Justice Yadav.

    There are several cases pending in subordinate courts and people will continue to languish if we keep persisting with never ending cases, he stressed.

    "If this is true, then all undertrials who have been suffering for decades should be granted amnesty," said Petitioner Ajay Agarwal.

    In the past two decades, the Bofors scam investigations have seen several flip flops.

    On January 20, 1990, CBI filed a criminal case to find out who were the benficiaries of kickbacks from the Bofors deal.

    Two charge sheets were filed by the CBI in this case on October 22, 1999 and then on October 9, 2000.

    In 2003 and 2007, the CBI failed to extradite Quattrocchi, named as the main accused, back to India.

    Finally in 2009, it first removed the red corner notice against Quattrocchi and then sought permission to withdraw prosectuion against him.

    And the verdict had predictable political responses.

    "Good that this is over," said Congress leader Salman khursheed.

    "Truth has no closure," said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

    The judiciary may go by the CBI closure report and close the case, but with the Opposition jumped into the fray, the case will be far from over politically.