National News

Supreme Court dismisses plea asking for probe into Birla-Sahara diaries

The top court had earlier said there was insufficient evidence to make a case against the prime minister.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on Wednesday told the Supreme Court there was no evidence to prove that Narendra Modi was paid money by big corporate houses when he was the Gujarat chief minister. Rohatgi, who represented the government in the Birla-Sahara diaries case, argued that if such documents were accepted as legal evidence then no one in the country would be safe, reported ANI.

Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, who had filed the petition, asked the apex court to order an investigation into the matter. He argued that there was evidence to prove that public officials were paid bribes in the case. However, the top court said it was scrutinising the integrity of the diaries and not the I-T Settlement Commission order that granted Sahara immunity from prosecution.

Earlier, the top court had ruled that there was insufficient evidence to make a case against the prime minister. Bhushan had then accused the judge hearing the case of a conflict of interest. According to Bhushan, the papers were also the subject of an institutional cover-up, involving a range of state institutions and agencies.

The Sahara documents include 11 pages of “payment entries”. These list leaders, who allegedly received bribes from the two companies, from parties across the political spectrum – the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal, Bhartiya Kisan Union, Shiv Sena and Lok Janshakti Party.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal had alleged that Modi was linked to the Sahara diaries scandal. On December 21, Gandhi said that documents seized by tax officials during raids proved that Modi had taken bribes from the Sahara and Birla groups when he was chief minister of Gujarat. “We want a probe into Sahara-Birla diaries. Let there be an inquiry,” party spokesperson Tom Vadakkan had said.

However, Congress leader and former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, whose name also features in that list, had rejected all allegations. “It is all hearsay. There is no iota of truth in the allegations,” she had said.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.

Play

It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.