The Supreme Court today told Common Cause that it cannot order an investigation into the alleged bribing of politicians by Sahara and Birla based on the material produced by the NGO.
A Bench of Justices JS Khehar and Arun Mishra told Senior Advocate Shanti Bhushan, who appeared for Common Cause, that the material produced is totally unsatisfactory.
Right from the moment the hearing began, the Bench expressed its dissatisfaction at the material produced. When a document by Sahara was cited, Justice Khehar (who had heard the SEBI Sahara case for a long time before recusing himself) remarked wittingly that none of the documents of Sahara is genuine. He remarked,
“Are you relying on Sahara’s documents? They never have genuine documents. That is why I recused from hearing their case.”
Subsequently, Bhushan cited the computer entry found from raids at Birla’s premises, which dealt with payments made to Gujarat Chief Minister.
The Bench was, however, far from impressed.
“Anybody can make a computer entry against a Chief Minister or Prime Minister. Can we order a probe based on all that? Bring better material.”
The Court then said that it can either give him more time to produce better material or the petitioner should withdraw the application. Bhushan said he will produce better material and sought three weeks time, which was allowed.
The matter will now be heard on December 14.
Interestingly, as the hearing concluded a friendly banter between Justice Khehar and Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi caught the attention of the audience.
Khehar said that he could also make a computer entry against, say, Rohatgi’s name and that cannot form the basis for an SIT probe. Rohatgi responded by agreeing with the judge saying he could make an entry against one of the Supreme Court judges and that would not mean anything.
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