New Delhi, July 3: The Supreme Court today rejected a PIL seeking a court-monitored probe into various financial scams, including the sensational PNB fraud case, observing that unwarranted and vexatious assertions have been made against the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra expressed strong displeasure over the allegations made in the petition against the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.
“In view of the unwarranted, uncalled for and vexatious assertions made in the petition, we are not inclined to entertain this petition. The petition is dismissed,” the bench, which also comprised Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.
Terming the PIL filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma as “publicity interest litigation”, the bench said the basic principle of drafting a petition is that if a person is named, then there should be documents or averments in support of the assertions.
“This is not permissible … the body of petition cannot contain allegations against the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister without supporting documents,” the bench said.
“Mr Sharma, you stop all this. You cannot tarnish the image of public functionaries like this,” Justice Chandrachud said, adding “this, we should not encourage”.
When Sharma submitted that he would delete the names of the leaders from his petition, the bench said once a petition is filed, it goes to the bench which takes a decision and the lawyer cannot seek permission to delete something and file it again.
“Your allegations must be supported by documents and this is the law laid down by this court,” the bench said while dismissing the plea.
The observations were made when Attorney General K K Venugopal referred to the “objectionable” averments in the petition against the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister and sought its dismissal.
Venugopal said that unfounded and baseless allegations have been levelled against the two top government leaders.
The law officer also informed the court that the CBI, which is probing the PNB fraud case, has already filed charge sheets in the case.
The PIL had sought a court-monitored SIT probe into the big financial scams including the PNB frauds case that have taken place in the past.
Sharma, during the hearing, alleged that no banks would have released huge funds without the intervention of the political leadership. His PIL had sought setting up of a SIT consisting retired apex court judges, saying the banking frauds have caused serious injury to the general public and the state’s treasury.
It should not be investigated by an agency “being controlled by the political leaders/authorities”, the petition said. It had also alleged that loans were issued in the case without following the RBI’s financial rules and regular systems.
The bench is already seized of another PIL filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda seeking an SIT probe and billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi’s deportation in the PNB fraud case.
The CBI has already registered two FIRs — one on January 31 and another recently against billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his relative Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems and others for allegedly defrauding the PNB of about Rs 11,400 crore.