Common Cause petition—Supreme Court keeps suspense alive

The apex court on Friday asked NGO Common Cause to produce authentic documents in its prayer for probe of charges of money paid by two corporate bodies to politicians, or else withdraw the petition

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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NH Political Bureau

The Supreme Court on Friday called upon the NGO ‘Common Cause’ to either produce authentic documents in support of its petition on the next date of hearing (December 14), or else withdraw the petition praying for a court-monitored inquiry into charges of huge money paid by two corporate bodies to the then Gujarat Chief Minister and present Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others, before the 2014 general election. The documents listed payments running into lakhs and crores made to leaders of practically all political parties, including Opposition parties and many chief ministers.


Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan had filed the petition which alleged that documents seized by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Income Tax Department in 2013-14 indicated that upwards of ₹40 crore had been transferred to Mr Modi by the Sahara Group of companies.

Computer created entries, Justice Khehar added, could well be self-created and the Supreme Court could not possibly initiate an investigation just because ‘a big man is named’.

Justice JS Khehar, in line to be the Chief Justice of India in January after the present CJI TS Thakur demits office in January, however observed that ‘Sahara’s documents cannot be relied upon as they are never genuine’.


Computer created entries, Justice Khehar added, could well be self-created and the Supreme Court could not possibly initiate an investigation just because ‘a big man is named’.


Senior counsel Ram Jethmalani informed the court that he had raised the issue in Parliament but no debate on the issue was allowed. He had also written directly to the Prime Minister seeking his response, but had received no reply.


Senior counsel Shanti Bhushan, who too appeared for the petitioners, argued that the authenticity of the documents lay in the fact that they were seized by agencies of the Government, and that officials of the companies concerned had admitted the authenticity of the documents to these agencies. The petitioners also submitted that an investigation could be ordered to dispel suspicion.


Significantly, December 14 is likely to be the last day before the apex court breaks for its winter vacation.

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