Week after the Narendra Modi government told the Supreme Court that the some Rafale files were stolen, the Ministry of Defence will file a fresh affidavit today to explain the steps taken since the documents were published by a leading newspaper. ‘The Hindu’ had published the file noting of the Rafale deal that PMO’s intervention in the combat jet deal with France. Week ago, on March 7, the Attorney General had revealed that the some Rafale files were stolen from the defence ministry office. Attorney General KK Venugopal had said that, “certain documents were stolen from the Defence Ministry either by public servants… 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.
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.