Sahara case: Prashant Bhushan tells SC to direct probe based on Income Tax papers
A petitioner NGO, Common Cause, on Thursday, told the Supreme Court that the IT appraisal report coupled with diary and email entries were adequate to suggest grave illegalities in the matter and, hence, the top court must order a probe straightaway.
The affidavit, filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, maintained that, “It is quite rare that so much clear evidence is placed before the Court or the investigation agencies to seek investigation. If no investigation is directed in this case, then in no case this Hon’ble Court would be justified in directing an investigation.”
According to a report in The Indian Express, the affidavit pointed out that an investigation was incumbent in view of certain incontrovertible facts, that raids were conducted by the CBI on the Birla Group and by the Income Tax Department on the Sahara Group; that unaccounted cash was recovered in the raids; that diaries, notebook, hand-written papers, computer documents were recovered and they had entries on alleged payoffs to politicians and civil servants.
“In the present case, the circumstances make out a more than adequate case for directing a credible and independent investigation as per the law laid down by Constitution Bench in Lalita Kumari case (that mandates registration of FIR when any serious offence is brought to notice of law enforcement agencies),” stated the affidavit, adding that there has been no rebuttal by any authority or entity of the authenticity of the material placed before the court.
“Therefore, the petitioners request this Hon’ble Court, as a guardian of the Constitution and the rule of law to order a thorough court-monitored SIT investigation into the material and evidence collected during the raid of the two business groups,” said the affidavit.
The case has been in the news, after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal have alleged that the entries, along with those recovered from Birla group, point to pay-offs to PM Narendra Modiwhen he was Gujarat CM.