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Sensational twist in Rafale case: Documents stolen from defence ministry, says govt in top court

The Modi Government Has Requested The Supreme Court To Dismiss All The Review Petitions For Using Stolen Documents On Rafale Deal.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Surabhi Pandey | Updated on: 07 Mar 2019, 09:43:41 AM
In Supreme Court, sensational twist in Rafale case: Certain documents stolen from defence ministry, says Attorney General KK Venugopal

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court began hearing review petitions in connection with Rafale deal on Wednesday. The top court said that it won't look into any supplementary affidavits or other documents not filed before it. The latest twist in the complicated case came when Attorney General KK Venugopal said that, “certain documents were stolen from the Defence Ministry either by public servants and an investigation is pending. We are dealing with defence purchases which involve security of the state. It is a very sensitive case.” Venugopal made the statement when Prashant Bhushan, one of the petitioners, tried to submit an eight-page note. At that point, the Attorney General objected to it and said that those note files were stolen from Defence Ministry and probe into that is underway.

“This would be an offence under Official Secrets Act. Action might be taken against two newspapers which published. Action is also warranted against Senior counsel These are matters which involve the very security of the State,” Venugopal added. However, Bhushan said that critical material facts were suppressed from the court. “There are a large number of serious errors of fact which court relied upon for passing the judgment it did. Those facts were presumably supplied to the court by Centre in sealed cover notes,” Bhushan added.

The Modi government has requested the Supreme Court to dismiss all the review petitions for using stolen documents on Rafale deal, in violation of the laws concerned. Hearing will now resume at 2 PM.

A day after the December verdict, the Centre had moved the top court seeking correction in the judgment where a reference was made about the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report and Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), saying "misinterpretation" of its note has "resulted in a controversy in the public domain".

On December 14, 2018, the top court had dismissed various pleas challenging the deal for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets by India from France, saying that there was no occasion to "really doubt the decision-making process" warranting setting aside of the contract.

It had rejected the pleas seeking lodging of an FIR and the court-monitored probe alleging irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal, in which both the countries have entered into an inter-governmental agreement (IGA).

Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan, have claimed in their review plea that the top court had relied upon "patently incorrect" claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover in the court.

They have claimed that the judgement was based on "errors apparent on the face of the record" and non-consideration of subsequent information which has come to light would cause a grave miscarriage of justice.

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First Published : 06 Mar 2019, 01:10:11 PM