The Supreme Court on Saturday said that it will hear on March 6 petitions seeking review of its December 14 judgement on Rafale fighter jet deal. The top court has already agreed to hear these petitions in open court. The petitions have sought review of its December verdict that dismissed pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph had allowed the prayer of former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie as also activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan that the review pleas be heard in open court.
"The prayer for open Court hearing is allowed", said the bench which also considered the review petition filed by AAP MP Sanjay Singh through lawyer Dheeraj Singh. The petitions for review came after the centre called for a correction in the verdict.
Besides two review petitions, the top court is also seized of some applications including the one filed by AAP MP Sanjay Singh, Shourie and Bhushan seeking perjury prosecution of government officials for allegedly misleading the court on the issue of pricing and procurement process.
A day after the December verdict, the Centre had moved the top court seeking correction in the judgement 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.