Supreme Court To Hear Requests To Review Rafale Order Today: 10 Points
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will today resume hearing petitions calling for a review of its Rafale case judgement from December that said there was no reason to doubt the decision-making process amid Congress allegations of corruption in the 2016 jet deal. The top court had in December dismissed petitions alleging that the government had gone for an overpriced deal to help Anil Ambani’s company bag an offset contract with jet-maker Dassault. A day before the crucial hearing, the Centre on Wednesday told the top court that documents filed by the petitioners are “sensitive to national security” and those who conspired in photocopying the papers have committed theft and put the security in jeopardy by leaking them, targeting The Hindu newspaper over its investigative stories on the purchase of 36 fighter jets from France.
Following are the top 10 developments in this story:
- The centre wants the petitions in the case to be dismissed. The government contends that those asking for a review relying on “secret documents” are violating the Official Secrets Act, for which the punishment is jail or fine.
- Those who have photocopied the documents have “offended India’s agreement with foreign country” as the agreement has a secrecy clause, the government said. The documents, the court was further told, gives an incomplete picture.
- During the last hearing of the Rafale case, the government had admitted that classified documents were stolen from the “Defence ministry”. After the admission drew opposition attacks, the Attorney General clarified that the documents were not stolen but photocopied.
- The Defence Ministry says even though the centre maintains secrecy, the petitioners are relying on documents annexed and “are guilty of leakage of sensitive information, which offends the terms of the agreements”.
- The government on March 6 hearing had also threatened The Hindu newspaper with the Official Secrets Act for publishing articles based on them and also contempt of court.
- N Ram, chairman of The Hindu Publishing Group, has said the documents were published in public interest and nobody would get any information on the sources who provided them.
- In a series of reports on the deal, The Hindu said the defence ministry had objected to the “parallel negotiations” for Rafale jets by the Prime Minister’s Office. Another report said the deal became more expensive for India because of France’s refusal to provide bank guarantees.
- The petitions – filed by Former NDA ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, advocate Prashant Bhushan and Aam Aadmi party MP Sanjay Singh – contend that the court should to re-consider its judgment, which relies on a “non-existent” CAG report to uphold the Rafale deal.
- The Congress contends that the government finalised an overpriced deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets at an inflated price to benefit Anil Ambani, whose rookie defence firm was recommended as an offset partner for Dassault, the company manufacturing the aircraft.
- Both Dassault and the government have denied the Congress allegations.
(With inputs from PTI)
Disclaimer: NDTV has been sued for 10,000 crores by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Group for its coverage of the Rafale deal.