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Rafale deal: Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on review petitions

While Attorney General KK Venugopal sought four weeks time to file reply on the review, the top court has asked for the reply by Saturday (May 4) and set a Monday (May 6) date for hearing.

Rafale deal: Supreme Court issues notice to Centre on review petitions
File photo

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a formal notice to Centre on review petitions filed against the December 14 judgement in the Rafale deal. The top court has posted the matter for hearing for next Monday.

While Attorney General KK Venugopal sought four weeks time to file reply on the review, the top court has asked for the reply by Saturday (May 4) and set a Monday (May 6) date for hearing.

The Centre on Monday, through advocate R Balasubramanian, had said that it would need more time to file a reply on merits of review petitions filed by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan as well as those filed by AAP leader Sanjay Singh and advocate Vineet Dhanda. The letter said that more time is needed for an appropriate reply to the petitions seeking a review of the December 14 (2018) verdict in the Rafale jet deal case.

The petitions, relying on leaked documents, had been allowed by the apex court on April 10 despite objections from the government.

The government and the Opposition have been at loggerheads over the deal with France's Dassault Aviation for the twin-engine Medium Multi Role combat aircraft. Congress leads the charge against the Narendra Modi government and says that an inflated price for 36 jets was agreed upon and that commercial favouritism was indulged in to give an edge to Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence. These charges have been vehemently denied by the government even as the Indian Air Force maintains the need for Rafale jets to maintain air superiority over rivals.