SC postpones Rafale review hearing (File Photo)
The Supreme Court on Monday said it would hear together on May 10 the pleas seeking review of its verdict on the Rafale fighter jet case and the contempt petition against Congress President Rahul Gandhi for allegedly attributing some remarks to it.
A special bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the petitions seeking review of its December 14 last year verdict would come up for hearing on May 10.
The bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, expressed surprise as to how the review pleas and the contempt petition against Gandhi were listed separately on different dates when it had earlier ordered that both the cases will be heard together.
"We are little perplexed that the two cases are listed on two different dates when the order was that these matters will be heard together," the bench said.
During the brief hearing, advocate Prashant Bhushan told the bench that he would argue the review pleas as well as an application seeking production of certain documents.
He said the court should allow his co-petitioner and former Union minister Arun Shourie to argue a separate application seeking perjury action against unknown government servants for allegedly misleading the court during the Rafale case hearing earlier.
The petitions in the Rafale case have been filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan. They are seeking a review of the December 14 verdict by which their plea seeking probe into alleged irregularities in the multi-crore Rafale fighter jet deal was dismissed.
The Centre has opposed the pleas vehemently, stating in an affidavit filed Saturday that the "categorical and emphatic" findings recorded by the top court in its December 14 last year verdict in the Rafale deal case has no apparent error warranting its review.
It said the petitioners, in the garb of seeking review of the verdict and placing reliance on some press reports and some incomplete internal file notings procured unauthorisedly and illegally, cannot seek to re-open the whole matter since the scope of review petition is "extremely limited".
The PM Modi-led central government said that media reports cannot form the basis for seeking review of the judgement since it is well settled law that courts do not take decision on the basis of media reports.
Referring to the April 10 order of the Supreme court, by which the Centre's preliminary objection to placing reliance on leaked documents was rejected by the top court, the Centre's reply said the order "would imply that any document marked secret obtained by whatever means and placed in public domain can be used without attracting any penal action".
(With inputs from PTI)