The Supreme Court (SC) has refused to entertain a PIL seeking NIA probe into the alleged 2008 agreement between Congress and the Communist Party of China. The PIL in SC was filed by a certain Shashank Shekhar Jha and Savio Rodrigues.
Instead of entertaining the PIL, the apex court asked the petitioners to approach the high court.
The apex court’s bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde asked the petitioners, represented by senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, to withdraw the plea.
“Every relief which you are seeking can be granted by the high court. Secondly, the high court is a proper court. Thirdly, we will have the advantage of high court order also,” the bench said.
The top court allowed the petitioners to “withdraw the petition with liberty to approach the high court.”
How can a political party enter into an agreement with China?
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)”. He added that the issue pertains 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 countries.”
Petitioners claim issue pertains to national security
Jethmalani argued that the alleged offenses if any disclosed, will be under the NIA Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. He said it will be better if the Supreme Court examines this as it relates to national security.
The submission was rejected by the bench.
Notably, amid the India-China face-off on Line of Actual Control (LAC), a PIL was filed in the top court. The plea sought an NIA probe into the 2008 agreement between the Indian National Congress and the Communist Party of China.
“Despite of having a hostile relation with China, Congress had signed an agreement when it was running a coalition government. It has 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 anyone,” the plea had said.
The said agreement was signed between Congress and the Communist Party of China. It was signed in Beijing for exchanging high-level information and co-operation.
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