New Delhi, January 11: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea of senior advocate Prashant Bhushan seeking a probe into the Sahara-Birla Diaries case. The court ruled that Bhushan has failed to provide with enough evidence to substantiate the charges.
Stating that the plea was 'devoid of merit,' the bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy said, "The process of law can be misused for ulterior goals if such documents are treated as legal evidence and probe is ordered."
"If we were to order an investigation on the basis of material with no evidentiary value, it would be difficult for constitutional functionaries to function, which would not be safe for the democracy," the court observed.
"Given the shape in which these documents have been collected and filed, we are of the opinion that it would not be safe and proper to order the investigation", the court said in its order.
Attorney General Rohatgi, top law officer representing the Central Government, earlier in the day told the apex court division bench that there was no credible document or evidence which prove that former Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was paid by the corporate houses.
"Nobody in the country would be safe if such documents are accepted as legal evidence. Anyone can put the name of anybody on such papers," he added.
Prashant Bhushan had last week filed an affidavit in the court claiming new evidence in the Sahara-Birla diaries case. he had attacked a report of the Income tax department which reflected that the kickbacks were routed through one individual to various politicians.
The apex court had earlier asked him to submit additional evidence in the case. The new evidence was based on the I-T raids conducted on the two corporate houses in the year 2013 and 2014.
The decision also comes as a major blow for Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal who have been waving the papers claiming PM Modi took bribe worth crores during his tenure as Gujarat CM. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee had also asked PM to step down to allow a fair probe.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the verdict, Prashant Bhushan said, "It is not a blow to me but a blow to the people of the country who want a corruption-free environment. It's a blow to the reputation of the Supreme Court because today it has let down the people of this country."
He mentioned that the apex court has made a 'grievous mistake' and has spoilt the effort to bring the public accountability of public servants.