Rafale Deal: SC Reserves Order on ‘Secrecy’ of Leaked Documents
The court is also looking into allegations against government officials for allegedly misleading the court.
The Supreme Court on Thursday, 14 February, reserved the order order on the preliminary objections and the government’s claim of privilege over the documents used by the petitioners seeking review of the apex court’s earlier judgment on Rafale deal.
Attorney General KK Venugopal, began his submissions before the SC stating that the government has made a “mistake” in filing the CAG report on the Rafale deal. He also added that the SC should direct removal of the leaked pages from the review petitions, as the government claims privilege over these documents.
Bhushan argued that Section 123 privilege does not apply to documents which have already been published, adding that the only touchstone to decide admissibility of the documents in question is public interest.
- During the 6 March hearing, Venugopal raised a preliminary objection on the basis that the documents relied on by the petitioners were secret and should not have been used by them
- The top court is also looking into applications seeking perjury prosecution of government officials for allegedly misleading the court
- On 14 December last year, the apex court had dismissed a clutch of PILs, including the one filed by Sinha, Shourie, and Bhushan, saying there was “no occasion to doubt” the decision-making process of the Centre in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France
Catch all live updates on the SC’s verdict on the Rafale review petitions here.
SC Begins Hearing Review Petitions on Rafale Case Verdict
The Supreme Court begins hearing the petitions seeking a review of its judgment on the government’s purchase of 36 Rafale jets from Dassault Aviation.
Didn't Seek Cancellation of Deal, Sought a Probe Into It: Prashant Bhushan
Prashant Bhushan explains why they believe the court was misled by the Centre, and the misinformation in the "sealed cover" led to the factual errors in the December verdict.
Bhushan says that the judges didn't address the relief sought by him, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha . He said that they weren't asking for the court to strike down the deal, but instead for the court to direct an investigation by the CBI into it.
The three of them had filed a complaint with the CBI setting out why it looked like there was corruption in the deal.
He further says that the CBI didn't register an FIR, which was why the three of them approached the SC. However, the judges never addressed request, instead only dealing with other petitioners' requests for cancellation of the deal.
Bhushan told the SC that we have also made a supplementary affidavit based on reports by The Hindu's Narasimman Ram. CJI Ranjan Gogoi says, "We don't want any supplementary stuff. We have read what all you have given us."
Petitions Should be Scrapped as Rafale Documents Stolen from Ministry, Says AG
KK Venugopal raises preliminary objection, says the review petition by Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan and the perjury application filed by them need to be dismissed because they rely on secret documents that should not be public.
He says the documents revealed by N Ram on the deal were stolen from the Defence Ministry. They're supposed to be secret, publication amounts to violations of Official Secrets Act.
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