Rafale documents were stolen from Defence Ministry, can’t be shown in Court, Govt tells SC

Prime News, Nation, (New Delhi), March 6:-The documents cited by The Hindu in a report on the Rafale deal were stolen from the Defence Ministry and can’t be shown in court as it affects national security, the Attorney General has told the Supreme Court during a hearing of review pleas against the clean chit to the Narendra Modi government. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, one of the petitioners, meanwhile, alleged that the government lied in court on the Rafale deal and should be pulled up for perjury.

The top court had, on December 14, 2018, dismissed four petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the purchase of the jet fighters, saying the decision-making process was not in doubt and that it cannot go into the question of pricing and the choice of offset Indian partner by Dassault. The plea for recall of the judgment was filed by former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, journalist-turned-politician Arun Shourie and activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan among others.

The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph had on February 26 decided to hold an open court hearing of the pleas seeking the recall of its judgment on several grounds, including information that has come into the public domain after its pronouncement.

The bench, in its order on February 26, had said, “List the matters for hearing in open Court along with a plea for the initiation of perjury proceedings against officials allegedly for misleading the court and suppressing the information.”

The plea for perjury proceedings against officials who had allegedly misled the court by giving false evidence and suppressing information has been moved by Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan, who had sought direction for identification of such officials.

The three had on January 2 sought a recall of the verdict, contending that the court had “relied upon patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover”.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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