Chief Justice of India Ashok Bobde appeared bewildered when he was made aware of the memorandum of understanding signed between the Congress party and the Chinese Communist Party in 2008. The deal, which gained a lot of attention in the public eye after the clash between the Indian Army and the PLA at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, has been criticised by politicians and individuals across the board.
CJI Bobde said, “There is something like unheard of legally in this plea. How can a political party enter into an agreement with China?” He added, “We have not heard a political party of one country entering into an agreement with political party of another country.”
CJI: we will allow you to withdraw and file a fresh one. Make correct averments otherwise we will prosecute you. We have not heard a political party of one country entering into an agreement with political party of another country— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) August 7, 2020
The CJI-led bench permitted the petitioners to withdraw the plea and approach the appropriate High Court regarding the same. The plea was filed against the Indian National Congress, its President Sonia Gandhi and former President Rahul Gandhi seeking details of the MoU that was signed between the Congress and the CCP in 2008. It also demanded a CBI or an NIA probe into the matter.
“Petitioners firmly believe that the Nation’s security cannot and shouldn’t be compromised by anyone. Therefore, this Writ Petition has been moved under Article 32 of the Constitution of Bharat, which seeks to bring transparency and clarity regarding the agreement signed between the Respondent No. 1 and the Communist Party of China (herein CPC) which is also the de-facto government of People’s Republic of China (Herein China),” the plea, filed on behalf of advocate Shankar Shekhar Jha and Editor-in-Chief of GoaChronicles Savio Rodrigues, said.
The MoU between Congress and CCP
During UPA1 in 2008, the Congress party and the Communist Party of China (CPC) had signed a deal in Beijing for exchanging high-level information and co-operation between them. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) also provided the two parties with the “opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments”.
Interestingly, the MoU was signed by the then Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and on the Chinese side, it was signed by none other than Xi Jinping himself, who was then the Chinese vice-president and standing committee member of the CPC’s politburo. The MoU was signed in the presence of his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi.
Before the signing of the MoU, the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi had held a long meeting with Xi and other senior leaders of the Communist Party of China to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Later, it also became public knowledge that China had donated Rs 1 crore over three years to the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation which had top Congress functionaries in its Board including Sonia Gandhi, Raul Gandhi and others.