23/12/2016 9:31 AM IST | Updated 23/12/2016 10:31 AM IST

Documents On Which Rahul Gandhi Relied To Charge Modi With Bribery Termed 'Zero Material' By Supreme Court

Gandhi has accused Modi of accepting ₹40 crore in bribes by the Sahara group.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The documents on the basis of which Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had received bribe money from two industrial houses when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, had already been termed "zero material" by the Supreme Court.

The apex court made the observations when the documents had been submitted before it by lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan on behalf of an NGO, as part of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

The PIL has been heard on four dates by a bench comprising Justice JS Khehar and Arun Mishra, which on Wednesday had asked Bhushan whether aspersions could be cast against the prime minister without placing "sufficient", "firm" and "clear" materials.

The court, according to a PTI report, had also observed that the PIL was based on "zero material" and was only making "insinuations".

The petition seeks an SIT probe into alleged recovery of documents in income tax raids on two business houses in 2012 when Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Supreme Court Lawyer Bhushan had also sought Justice Khehar's recusal from hearing the PIL, saying that the file designating him as the next CJI awaited the prime minister's approval.

Gandhi has accused Modi of accepting a bribe of ₹40 crore by the Sahara group when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.

"As per records with the Income Tax Department, ₹2.5 crore was given to PM Modi on October 30, 2013, ₹5 crore was on November 12, 2013, ₹2.5 crore on November 27, 2013 and ₹5 crore on November 29, 2013," Gandhi had said, addressing a rally in Mehasana.

He had also alleged that the Income Tax department had not taken any action despite having this information.

Citing the Supreme Court's observations on the PIL, the BJP has rubbished Gandhi's allegations. Zee Newshad quoted BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as saying, "The Supreme Court said that these were unsubstantiated allegations and that there would be no probe. The highest court of the country has spoken, so why does Rahul seem to think that there's any basis to his allegations?"

(With PTI inputs)