New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed surprise at a PIL seeking directions to National Investigation Agency (NIA)/CBI to investigate the 2008 agreement between Indian National Congress (INC) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) for exchanging high-level information and for cooperation between them under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde said never heard of a foreign government signing an agreement with a political party of another country. The apex court declined to entertain the PIL and asked the petitioners, advocate Shashank Shekhar Jha and Editor-in-Chief of Goa Chronicle Savio Rodrigues, to withdraw the plea and move before an appropriate High Court.
The bench queried the petitioners counsel, “How can a political party enter into an agreement with China?” The counsel argued that the agreement was not in the public domain and sought court’s permission to list the matter for further arguments on Monday.
The bench replied that it will allow the counsel to withdraw and file a fresh one.
The Chief Justice queried the counsel, we only want to see a fresh petition and why didn’t you go to the High Court? The counsel argued that all offences are under UAPA and can be tried by NIA. The Chief Justice replied that the High Court is the proper court and all relief can be granted by them. “We can check their view too on this,” the bench added.
The petitioner argued that despite having a hostile relation with China, the INC had signed an agreement when it was leading the coalition government and hidden the facts and details of the agreement.
The plea argued, “The Petitioners firmly believe that the nation’s security cannot and shouldn’t be compromised by any one. Therefore, this petition has been moved under Article 32 of the Constitution of Bharat, which seeks to bring transparency and clarity regarding the agreement signed between the Respondent No. 1 (INC) and the Communist Party of China which is also the de-facto government of People’s Republic of China.”
The petition pertains to an agreement signed during UPA rule on August 7, 2008, between INC and the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing for exchanging high-level information and co-operation between them. “The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) also provided the two parties with the “opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments,” said the plea.