Supreme Court dismisses Rafale Review Petitions

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the review petitions challenging its verdict in the Rafale case passed on December 14, 2018, upholding the 36 Rafale jets deal.

A three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph passed the order on a batch of petitions seeking review of its December 14, 2018 verdict which had upheld purchase of 36 Rafale jets by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government from France.

The apex court had then dismissed petitions seeking court-monitored probe into alleged irregularities in the procurement of jets by asserting that there was “no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the deal”. It had also said that it was not their job to go into the issue of pricing of the fighter planes.

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Subsequently, review petitions were filed by former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, lawyer Prashant Bhushan and others against the top court’s judgement. The petitioners sought review of the order on the grounds that it contained several errors.

They contended that the judgment relied upon patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover to the court. The petitioners also sought permission to take on record a document leaked from the Defence Ministry as evidence.

The Centre then challenged the admissibility of the leaked documents and claimed privilege over them. The Centre asserted that the petitioners had procured privileged documents in an “illegal way” to support their review petitions.

It told the court that the documents attached by the petitioners are sensitive to national security and relate to war capacity of the combat aircraft.

The apex court, however, unanimously dismissed centre’s objections and allowed the documents to be taken on record. After hearing the case, it had reserved the order on May 10.

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