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Congress wonders how Quattrochi's name figures in ITAT order
January, 07th 2011

After questioning its timing, Congress today sought to pick holes in the order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, which has led to resurfacing of the Bofors issue, wondering as to how the name of Ottavio Quattrochi figures in it.

"We all know that in IT proceedings, you cannot deal with third parties. This was a case about assessment of income of Win Chaddha. In the 98-page order, Quattrochi's name comes on the 94th page. Technical question arises as to how his name came," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.

He alleged that whenever an individual's name comes up in the Bofors case, it is sought to be "mischievously and misleadingly and deliberately" linked to the Congress party and Rajiv Gandhi. "That is the most unfortunate part".

When asked about proximity of Rajiv Gandhi and Quattrochi, he shot back "it is known that Vajpayee and his family had close relations with the Hindujas, but we never made any allegation. What do you mean by being close...".

Questioning the timing of the order, he noted that December 31 was an "odd day" for pronouncing the order given the fact that the Tribunal had earlier said that it was set to pronounce it on January 3.

He said that the Congress was not concerned whether Chaddha or Quattrochi paid their taxes or not and were only concerned about the "fair name of the party and Rajiv Gandhi".

Singhvi's remarks came a day after AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh said that the party was intrigued over the order and has a number of questions on its timing as also the content.

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

The ITAT order has been latched up by the Opposition to target Congress and party chief Sonia Gandhi on the issue of corruption.

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