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Rafale deal: Supreme Court to hear petitions seeking review of its old verdict

On Feb 26, the SC had agreed to hear a batch of pleas seeking review of its Rafale verdict in an open court.

Rafale deal: Supreme Court to hear petitions seeking review of its old verdict

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is set to take up a bunch of petitions on Thursday seeking review of its earlier verdict on Rafale fighter jets deal between India and France. 

The hearing in the country's top court comes a day after the Centre told it that documents attached by the petitioners in the case seeking review of its Rafale deal verdict are "sensitive to national security".

 

In its submission before the Supreme Court, the Centre said that ''those who conspired in photocopying the papers have committed theft and put the national security in jeopardy by leaking them.''

The Ministry of Defence informed the apex court that an internal enquiry was launched into the matter on February 28. The ministry officials further informed that all efforts are being made to ascertain who all were behind the leakage of sensitive documents and when they were leaked.

Earlier on March 6, Attorney General KK Venugopal, speaking on behalf of the Centre, had alleged before the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph that the review petition was based on the documents which were stolen from the Defence Ministry. 

However, two days later he retracted and clarified that what he meant in his submission is that the petitioners in their application had used ‘photocopies of the original’ papers, deemed secret by the government.

It may be recalled that review pleas in the case had been filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and activist advocate Prashant Bhushan against the December 14 verdict of Supreme Court,  which rejected all the pleas challenging the Rafale deal between India and France.

In its December verdict, the Supreme Court had rejected all petitions seeking a court-monitored investigation and said that it found “no occasion to really doubt the process” of decision making, pricing and selection of offset partners. 

However, on February 26, the Supreme Court agreed to hear these petitions in an open court.

(With PTI inputs)