‘Intimidation Hasn’t Worked’: Shourie on SC’s Rafale Docs Order

Arun Shourie explains why the dismissal of the preliminary objections to the Rafale review petitions is significant.

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“I’m delighted for several reasons. Our arguments were accepted and the peculiar arguments of the Attorney General were set aside.”
Arun Shourie

Veteran journalist and former Union Minister Arun Shourie was delighted by the Supreme Court’s decision on 10 April dismissing the government’s preliminary objections to the Rafale review petitions.

A three-judge bench of the apex court (in two concurring judgments) rejected the Centre’s argument, that key documents relied on by the petitioners were “stolen” and “classified” and so could not be considered by the court when conducting a review of their judgment from December 2018. They also rejected the government’s claim that the documents couldn’t be used because of the government’s “privilege” under Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act.

Shourie, who along with Yashwant Sinha and Prashant Bhushan had filed one of the review petitions against the Supreme Court’s judgment declining to interfere in the Rafale deal, believes this decision could prove important in multiple ways.

“It is wonderful that the court has rejected these arguments. And that has significance for Rafale. It has significance for our review petition, which the court has said it will hear. And it has very great significance for us as journalists who work to ensure accountability in the country. Because these are the standard things which governments use to prevent investigations and to prevent the courts from looking at the facts.”
Arun Shourie

Shourie was speaking to The Quint’s Associate Editor (Legal) Vakasha Sachdev after the judges pronounced their decision.

Watch the video for why the arguments by Attorney General KK Venugopal “shocked” him, how the documents will support their arguments that the government misled the court on the Rafale deal, and how, if journalists “keep at the story, all the facts will keep coming out, one after the other.”

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