There will be no probe by a Special Investigation Team into the politically sensitive Sahara diaries case - which involves alleged bribes paid to politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister the Supreme Court has said. The top court has said there is not enough evidence in the case, NDTV reports. "If investigation is ordered on the basis of inadmissible evidence like this, constitutional functionaries can't function and democracy will not be safe," the court said.
On November 14, the court had said there was not enough evidence to order a probe into the matter. Another hearing took place today after a fresh affidavit was filed by lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, who sought a court-monitored investigation into the case. Bhushan argued that though the Sahara-Birla documents do not prove that the politicians named in them received kickbacks, a First Information Report should be filed against the people named and the subsequent investigation would bring out the truth.
As per a Supreme Court judgment, a First Information Report has to be filed if any crime has been committed, he added. Appearing for the government, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the court that there is no evidence to prove that Modi was paid by corporate houses. No one in the country would be safe if such documents are accepted as legal evidence, he added.
The "Sahara diaries" is a collection of papers seized by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Income Tax department during raids on Sahara-Birla offices in 2013 and 2014. The list reportedly contained names of politicians from different parties, along with amounts paid to them as bribes and included the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while he was Gujarat Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit.
A huge political controversy grew around the matter following the notes ban controversy when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi accused Modi of "personal corruption". The opposition has alleged that the Prime Minister has been given unwarranted protection by tax officials, who decided not to investigate the Sahara Group. The decision to prosecute Sahara, made in August last year, had been overturned in November.