Rafale order: Supreme Court agrees to hear review pleas in open court

On December 14, the bench had dismissed petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the purchase of the fighter aircraft from France finding “no occasion to doubt the (decision-making) process” leading to the award of the contract.

A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph took up two review petitions in chamber on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear in open court two petitions seeking review of its December 14, 2018 judgment on the Rafale fighter deal with France.

A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph took up two review petitions — one by former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan and the other by Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh — in chamber on Tuesday. It then said “the prayer for open Court hearing is allowed” and directed that the petitions be listed along with the government’s application seeking certain corrections in the December 14 judgment.

On December 14, the bench had dismissed petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the purchase of the fighter aircraft from France finding “no occasion to doubt the (decision-making) process” leading to the award of the contract. It said there was no material to show the government had favoured anyone commercially.

Shourie, Sinha and Bhushan sought a review of the judgment saying the court had relied on “patently incorrect” claims made by the government in its note submitted in a sealed cover to the bench, which heard the original petition. They claimed that more information had come to light subsequently and not considering them would result in grave miscarriage of justice and requested that it be heard in open court.

Sanjay Singh, in his petition, alleged contradictions in the government’s statements. He said “the indulgence of this Hon’ble Supreme Court of India is of paramount importance for the country keeping in view the contradictory averments made by Respondent No.1 (Union of India) giving credence to the belief that there has been criminal omission and commissions in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets”.

A day after the judgment, the Centre approached the court seeking correction where it said a report of the CAG on the pricing of the fighter jets “has been” examined by the Public Accounts Committee. The Opposition had pointed out the CAG report on the matter had not been drawn up when the judgment was delivered. In its application, the government described the controversial line in paragraph 25 of the verdict as an “error” and said it may have “crept in” due to “misinterpretation of a couple of sentences in a note” it had “handed over” to the court “in a sealed cover”.

 

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/rafale-order-supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-review-pleas-in-open-court-5602216/

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