Rafale row: Supreme Court allows defence ministry to file affidavit in review petitions in fighter jet case

The apex court was hearing petitions seeking review of its 14 December, 2018 verdict that had dismissed pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets

Asian News International March 13, 2019 15:05:10 IST
Rafale row: Supreme Court allows defence ministry to file affidavit in review petitions in fighter jet case
  • The Centre’s advocate mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the ministry wants to file an affidavit in the review petitions pending before it in the fighter jet case

  • Last week, the top court had adjourned the hearing in the case till 14 March after the government said that certain documents pertaining to the deal were "stolen" from the defence ministry

  • The apex court was hearing petitions seeking review of its 14 December, 2018 verdict that had dismissed pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the defence ministry to file an affidavit in the Rafale case after it sought permission for the same.

Rafale row Supreme Court allows defence ministry to file affidavit in review petitions in fighter jet case

File image of the Supreme Court of India. PTI

The Centre’s advocate mentioned before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the ministry wants to file an affidavit in the review petitions pending before it in the fighter jet case.

The matter will come up for hearing tomorrow. Last week, the top court had adjourned the hearing in the case till 14 March after the government said that certain documents pertaining to the deal were "stolen" from the defence ministry.

The apex court was hearing petitions seeking review of its 14 December, 2018 verdict that had dismissed pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

In its order, the top court had dismissed petitions seeking a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the Rafale deal signed two years back alleging irregularities and corruption in the contract.

On 2 January, the petitioners in fighter jet deal case — Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, both former Union Ministers, and Prashant Bhushan, a noted lawyer — had moved the apex court for a review of its Rafale judgment. They have sought recall of the verdict and a hearing in the open court.

Their plea has said that the 14 December verdict contained "several errors" and relied upon "patently incorrect claims" made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover to the court, which is a violation of the principle of natural justice.

The petitioners also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had signed an agreement for 36 Rafale jets on 10 April, 2015, without any such requirement of 36 jets being given by the Air Force Headquarters and without the approval of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which are the mandated first steps for any defence procurement.

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