New Delhi: In a setback to the Centre, the Supreme Court Wednesday allowed leaked documents to be relied upon by petitioners seeking review of its Rafale judgment and dismissed the government’s preliminary objections claiming “privilege” over them.
The Centre had submitted that
“We dismiss the preliminary objection raised by Union of India questioning the maintainability of the review petition,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said.
The apex court said it will go ahead with the hearing on the review petition on the basis of new documents referred by petitioners.
The CJI pronounced the verdict on his behalf and for Justice S K Kaul.
The second concurrent judgment was pronounced by Justice K M Joseph, who said he agreed with the conclusion of the judgment written by the CJI.
The chief justice said Justice Joseph agreed with the judgment delivered by him but gave different reasoning.
The judgment makes it clear that during the hearing of the review petition the bench will look into not only the question of pricing of the jet but also
The top court said review petitions against its December 14 verdict dismissing all petitions against procurement of Rafale jets will be decided on merits
The apex court said it will fix a date for hearing review petitions. Former union minister Arun Shourie, who is one of the review petitioners, said he was delighted by the unanimous verdict.
“We are delighted it is
The other two petitioners are former union minister Yashwant Sinha and activist advocate Prashant Bhushan.
On March 14, the apex court had reserved verdict on the preliminary objections raised by the Centre on
Classified documents were sourced by the media over the Rafale deal. Citing internal reports of the Defence Ministry, the Hindu had reported that the Defence Ministry had objected to parallel negotiations by the government.
The Centre had claimed privilege over documents pertaining to the Rafale fighter jet deal with France and said those documents cannot be considered in evidence as per Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act.
The Centre had contended that no one can produce them in the court without the permission of the department concerned as those documents are also protected under the Official Secrets Act and their disclosure is exempted under the Right to Information Act as per Section 8(1)(a).
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had on December 14 dismissed all Public Interest Litigations (PILs) against the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets, saying there was no occasion to “really doubt the decision making
The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium