The interim application, which alleged that Narendra Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, had taken bribes from Sahara and Birla, was dismissed by the Supreme Court yesterday. The application was filed by an NGO called Common Cause.
In its judgement, the Supreme Court stated that the documents of evidence, which were provided by NGO’s counsel Prashant Bhushan, were inadmissible as they were not credible or reliable. The court noticed in its order that:
There has to be some cogent material which is prima facie reliable …in case we do not insist for the same and order investigation, process of law can be misused and no democracy can function if investigation is set in motion against high Constitutional functionaries without cogent material
This is in line with the earlier comments of the court when it had said that the ‘proofs’ provided by Prashant Bhushan were sub-par and the entire world can be roped in if such evidences were considered credible or reliable. Court had then given more time to petitioners to bring in credible evidences.
This whole controversy was started by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who last year on November 16th, alleged that during his tenure as Gujarat CM, Narendra Modi had received bribes from the Aditya Birla Group to the tune of 25 crore rupees. He was speaking in the assembly and thus had the privilege of not being sued for the claim.
As part of a ‘solid’ proof for the same, Arvind Kejriwal and his party circulated an alleged ledger entry found by the IT department during their raid at a former Aditya Birla Group employee in 2013.
This was followed up with the mainstream media running the story as ‘allegation by Kejriwal’. The Caravan magazine took it a step further by putting up a story that Modi had also taken kickbacks from Sahara to the tune of 55 crores. However, in the same story, they also mentioned that this could be a conspiracy by a disgruntled employee to blackmail top management of the company.
These documents were then made part of an interim application by the NGO Common Cause, which approached the Supreme Court asking for investigations in November itself. However, the court asked them to come back with more credible documents.
In December, the Supreme Court gave yet another chance to the NGO and Prashant Bhushan to come up with more reliable documents while repeating that such documents – presented by Kejriwal and printed by Caravan magazine – were not credible.
In the meantime, Rahul Gandhi repeated the same claims and called it an ‘earthquake moment’, but the real earthquake was brought by the apex court when it finally dismissed the application.