Exactly a week ago, the Supreme Court had cautioned NGO Common Cause against making unsubstantiated allegations against constitutional functionaries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it would not order an inquiry on the basis of Income Tax papers relating to raids at Aditya Birla Group and Sahara companies unless there was credible material to suggest illegal payoffs to politicians.
“This is becoming very abnormal for us. What we told you (petitioner)… give us smallest material. We will deal with it. How will a constitutional authority function if you are going to make such allegations? We don’t see even the smallest material to substantiate your accusations,” the bench of Justices J S Khehar and Arun Mishra told advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Common Cause, on December 14.
Bhushan had relied upon some purported email communications of officers of Aditya Birla and Sahara groups to allege that bribes were paid to the then Gujarat Chief Minister and others.
But the bench told him: “You are only making aspersions. and aspersions create false perception. How will constitutional functionaries work if such aspersions are cast without any material? We will certainly act but there has to be some material first.”
The Common Cause, which sought a court-monitored probe by a special investigation team, had alleged a “cover-up” following raids conducted by the Income Tax Department against Aditya Birla Group companies in October 2013 and on the Sahara India Group in November 2014.