SC relies on Jain-Hawala diary case to reject PIL

Court considers 1998 case to dismiss plea against Modi

SC relies on Jain-Hawala diary case to reject PIL

The Supreme Court on Wednesday relied to a great extent on its ruling in the 1998 Jain-Hawala diary case to reject a plea for an SIT probe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, supported by senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, cited the apex court’s verdict in the Lalita Kumari case (2014) to state that the investigation must be ordered on receipt of any information on cognisable offence and falsity of allegations or otherwise can be ascertained during the probe.

The court, however, observed that the said decision was not relevant, and held that the investigation cannot be ordered in the instant matter.

The court relied upon the CBI vs V C Shukla (Jain-Hawala diary case) as well as the Haryana Vs Bhajan Lal case, cited by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, to hold that the computer printouts, hard disks, diaries and excel sheets do not comply with the requirement of the Indian Evidence Act and are found to be fabricated.

The diary related to entires made by middlemen regarding bribes paid to over 100 politicians, including BJP leader L K Advani, V C Shukla and others, between 1988-91. However, the case could not stand legal scrutiny as those entries could not be substantiated.

In the plea made by NGO Common Cause, the court noted that the Income Tax Settlement Commission has already closed the matter on November 11 after finding that the documents – relating to payment of kickbacks by Sahara to a group of people – had got no value in the eyes of law.

“We find the materials placed on record in the Sahara and Birla case are random computer sheets, diaries and emails. Those were not maintained in the  required manner. In case of Sahara, the Income Tax Settlement Commission has already concluded that those were not admissible,” the bench said.

People’s court will decide, says Cong
With the Supreme Court rejecting any probe in the Sahara diaries, the Congress on Wednesday said the “people’s court” will fix accountability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports DHNS. “The battle of fixing accountability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be decided in the people’s court,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. He said the simple issue was whether the prime minister took money from the Sahara and Birla groups.

“He needs to answer it and does not require a certificate from any court,” Surjewala said. 

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