August 7, 2020 3:11:57 pm
The Supreme Court Friday refused to entertain a PIL seeking NIA probe into the alleged 2008 agreement between the Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of China.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for PIL petitioners Shashank Shekhar Jha and journalist Savio Rodrigues, to withdraw the plea and approach the high court.
“Every relief which you are seeking, can be granted by the high court. Secondly, high court is a proper court. Thirdly, we will have the advantage of high court order also,” said the bench which also comprised Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
The top court, in the hearing conducted through video conferencing, allowed the petitioners to “withdraw the petition with liberty to approach the high court.”
At the outset, Jethmalani alleged that it was an “agreement between a political party of this country with the only political party in that country (China)” and the issue pertained to national security.
“We find that there is something which appears to be, what might be called, unheard of and absurd in law. You are saying that China has entered into an agreement with a political party and not the government. How can a political party enter into an agreement with China,” the bench observed.
On being stressed by the lawyer that this was the case, the bench said, “we will allow you to withdraw this and file a fresh petition. We will examine what you say in the petition and if we find any false statement, we may prosecute you”.
The court said, “Within our limited experience, we have unheard of it that a political party is making an agreement with other country.”
Jethmalani argued that the alleged offences, if any disclosed, will be under the NIA Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and it will be better if the Supreme Court examine this as it relates to national security.
The submission was rejected by the bench. Amid India-China face-off on Line of Actual Control (LAC), a PIL was filed in the top court seeking NIA probe into the 2008 agreement between Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of China.
“Despite of having a hostile relation with China, Respondent No.1 (Congress) had signed an agreement when it was running a coalition government and hidden the facts and details of the agreement from the country,” the PIL alleged.
“The petitioners firmly believe that the Nation’s security cannot and shouldn’t be compromised by any one,” the plea had said.
The said agreement was signed between Congress and Communist Party of China in Beijing for exchanging high-level information and co-operation.
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