August 8, 2020 5:47:24 am
The Supreme Court on Friday expressed surprise over the averments in a petition which sought a probe into the alleged agreement signed between the Indian National Congress and Communist Party Of China in Beijing on August 7, 2008.
“You are saying a political party has entered into an agreement with China!…Within our experience, we have unheard of it that a political party is making an agreement with another country,” Chief Justice S A Bobde remarked when the petition by Advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha and journalist Savio Rodrigues came up for hearing.
The CJI told Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, who appeared for the petitioners, “We will allow you to withdraw this. However, we must tell you that we want you to examine the averments…” On a query why they had not gone to the High Court, Jethmalani said the issue is serious and was centred around offences related to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, asked Jethmalani to withdraw the plea and gave liberty to approach the High Court. Accordingly, the counsel withdrew it.
The plea contended that the Congress had signed the agreement when it was ruling the country as part of a coalition “despite of having a hostile relation with China…and hidden the facts and details of the agreement with the country”. The agreement was signed on behalf of the Congress by its leader Rahul Gandhi in presence of party President Sonia Gandhi, and it was signed for China by Xi Jinping, then the Vice-President, and some other leaders, it said.
Rodrigues said he urged the party to make details of the agreement public; “however no heed was shown in that respect which shows the malafide intention of the Respondents”, the plea said.
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