Rafale verdict: Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie move Supreme Court seeking review

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Published: January 3, 2019 1:14:52 AM

It also alleged that the Centre had “blatantly misled” the court and the “court has grossly erred in placing reliance on false averments in the note not even supported by an affidavit”.

The CAG is yet to conclude its audit of the contract.

Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie on Wednesday sought review of the Supreme Court’s December 14 judgment that found no irregularities in the procurement of the 36 Rafale jets from France.

Seeking recall of the judgment and an open court hearing, they alleged that the judgment “relied upon patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover to the court without being shown to the petitioners which is a violation of principles of natural justice”.

It also alleged that the Centre had “blatantly misled” the court and the “court has grossly erred in placing reliance on false averments in the note not even supported by an affidavit”.

“It appears that based on the note the court has accepted the government’s contention that details as regards pricing are ‘privileged’,” the review plea said, adding that they were not given any opportunity to rebut the government’s claims in the note, thus “resulting in gross miscarriage of justice”.

The petitioners also claimed that their prayer seeking registration of FIR and the CBI investigation into the Rafale deal was not dealt with by the court and “instead the contract has been reviewed prematurely without the benefit of any investigation or inquiry into disputed questions of facts”.

Rejecting a batch of petitions for a probe into India’s purchase of 36 French-made Rafale fighter jets, a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in December found no evidence of wrongdoing in the government’s decision-making process or in the choice of Reliance Infrastructure as the Indian partner. Refusing to go into the pricing details, the SC had ruled that “perception of individuals cannot be the basis of a fishing and roving enquiry by this court, especially in such matters”.

The apex court had rejected the pleas for lodging of an FIR and the court-monitored probe, alleging irregularities in the `58,000-crore deal, in which both the countries have entered into an inter-governmental agreement (IGA).

A day after the judgment was delivered, the Centre had on December 15 filed an application seeking correction in a paragraph in its judgment in which a reference was made about the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report and Parliament’s Public

Accounts Committee (PAC). In its judgment, the apex court had noted that the pricing details have been shared with CAG, and the report of the CAG has been examined by the PAC.

The judgment had said the material placed before it shows that the Centre did not disclose in Parliament the pricing details of the Rafale fighter jet, but revealed it to the CAG. This had come under question as there is no CAG report on this yet.

“This is patently false. The CAG is yet to conclude its audit of the contract. The report has not been finalised, so there is no question of it having been examined by the PAC or a redacted report having been placed before the parliament and being in the public domain,” the plea said.

On the government’s application seeking correction in the judgment, the review plea claimed that the “said application imputes that three justices misinterpreted that one paragraph in the same manner which is highly improbable”.

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