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Rafale LIVE: Setback to Govt on Election Eve as SC Allows Classified Documents to be Used in Review Petition

News18.com | April 10, 2019, 11:12 AM IST
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Rafale LIVE: In a setback to the government, the Supreme Court today rejected the Centre’s objections to petitions seeking review of the earlier judgment giving it a clean chit on the Rafale deal. The court has decided to rely upon the classified documents to decide review petitions. All three judges are unanimous in their views.

A bench of Chief Justice Rajan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph pronounced the judgment. The Defence Ministry had earlier filed an affidavit in the apex court in connection with the Rafale fighter jet case, claiming that the documents submitted in the review petition are sensitive to national security.
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Apr 10, 2019 11:12 am (IST)

In a second tweet, Randeep Surjewala said:

Apr 10, 2019 11:12 am (IST)

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala on SC order on Rafale

Apr 10, 2019 11:09 am (IST)

Kejriwal on Supreme Court's Rafale Decision | Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "Modi was saying everywhere that he received a clean chit from the Supreme Court in Rafale. Today's Supreme Court decision proved that Modi Ji has stolen from the nation, cheated the country's army, and misled the Supreme Court to hide his crime."

Apr 10, 2019 11:06 am (IST)

Rafale to be Heard on Merit | The Supreme Court said review petitions against its December 14 verdict dismissing all petitions against procurement of Rafale jets will be decided on merits.

Apr 10, 2019 11:02 am (IST)

Sitaram Yechury on the Supreme Court's Rafale Decision | CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said, "Modi and his govt have compromised on the national security for corruption and cronyism in an important defence deal. They tried to evade accountability, denied a JPC, hid price from CAG, tried to first mislead, then stall any hearing in Supreme Court. Important that culprits are booked."

Apr 10, 2019 11:00 am (IST)

Supreme Court has said that as far as the question of hearing of the review plea on Rafale judgment is concerned, it will give a detailed hearing later on.

Apr 10, 2019 10:59 am (IST)

After the Supreme Court's order on Rafale, Arun Shourie said, "We are delighted at unanimous verdict dismissing Centre's argument on admissibility of documents."

Apr 10, 2019 10:56 am (IST)

Soon after the Supreme Court dismissed the Centre's objections on using the classified documents of Rafale fighter jet deal, Arun Shourie said, "Modi has been saying that his government believes in the Supreme Court. Now, the Court has given its decision. The Supreme Court will see that whether the government was truthful or not and that is what the CJI has indicated." 

Apr 10, 2019 10:46 am (IST)

Supreme Court to Fix a Date of Detailed Hearing on Review Petition | The CJI-led bench said it will fix a date for commencing detailed hearing on the review petitions which question not only the pricing of Rafale fighter jets but appointment of Anil Ambani owned company as offset partner of Dassault, the French manufacturer of Rafale.

Apr 10, 2019 10:44 am (IST)

The Centre had pleaded that the documents attached to the review petition of Prashant Bhushan, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha were unauthorisedly photocopied from defence files on Rafale and that these would have inimical impact on the national security and friendly relations with France.

Apr 10, 2019 10:43 am (IST)

The Supreme Court three-judge bench rejected the Centre's preliminary objections to petitions seeking review of earlier judgment giving a clean chit to Union government in the Rafale fighter jet deal.

Apr 10, 2019 10:42 am (IST)
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Unanimous Decision on the Rafale Documents | A three-judge bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said it would now go ahead with the hearing of review petitions in the light of new documents cited by petitioners alleging wrong doing in Rafale deal.

Apr 10, 2019 10:41 am (IST)

Setback for Modi Govt on Rafale Deal |  As the Supreme Court decided to rely upon the classified documents to decide review petitions, the Narendra Modi government's objections to it stand dismissed. All three judges are unanimous in their views.

Apr 10, 2019 10:37 am (IST)

The Supreme Court has said that the "review will be heard on own merit by taking into account relevance of the new documents"

Apr 10, 2019 10:35 am (IST)

SC Dismisses Modi Govt's Objections on 'Stolen' Rafale Documents | The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justic of India Ranjan Gogoi has dismissed the objections put forth by the Modi govt. 

Apr 10, 2019 10:29 am (IST)

Judges are expected to arrive at the Court room at 10:30 am and the judgment will pronounced by the bench headed by Chief Justice of India shortly after that.

Apr 10, 2019 10:26 am (IST)

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will pronounce the verdict on the Narendra Modi government's Rafale fighter jets deal shortly.

Apr 10, 2019 10:12 am (IST)

Rafale verdict Shortly | The Rafale judgment will be pronounced by the Supreme Court shortly. The cause list for the day shows that there may be two separate judgments, one by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and the other by Justice K M Joseph.

Apr 10, 2019 10:11 am (IST)

Bhushan had submitted why the government didn't lodge any FIR when these documents started coming out in November 2018. He had further said that the government has itself filed a detailed CAG report regarding as many as 10 defence purchases and it is untenable on their part to now claim privilege. 

Apr 10, 2019 10:06 am (IST)

RTI Act Says Public Interest Outweighs Other Things | Petitioner Prashant Bhushan had also said that provisions of the RTI Act say public interest outweighs other things and no privilege can be claimed except for documents which pertain to intelligence agencies. He also said that there is no government-to-government contract in purchasing Rafale jets as there is no sovereign guarantee extended to India by France in the Rs 58,000 crore deal.

Apr 10, 2019 10:04 am (IST)
Rafale Deal Biggest Scam, Modi Govt Gave Waivers to French Companies: Congress

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said PM Modi, who has taken himself to be the guardian against corruption, must open his mouth on the 28 economic offenders during his tenure.

Apr 10, 2019 10:03 am (IST)

The Supreme Court had also said that under Section 24 of the RTI Act even security and intelligence establishments are not exempted from disclosing information in relation to corruption and human rights violations. "The RTI Act brought a revolution. In 2009, your own government said file notings can be made available under the RTI. Let us not go back now," the bench has said. "The RTI Act brought a revolution. In 2009, your own government said file notings can be made available under the RTI. Let us not go back now," the bench has said.

Apr 10, 2019 10:00 am (IST)

Congress Manifesto Promises Rafale Probe | The Congress manifesto has promised an investigation into the Rafale fighter jet deal if voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections, set to take place in seven phases through April 11 to May 19.

Apr 10, 2019 9:47 am (IST)

Section 22 of RTI Gives Overriding Effect over Offiicial Secrets Act | While the Centre was making submission that the documents can be withheld from disclosure under the RTI Act in view of the national security, the top court said Section 22 of the RTI Act gave it an overriding effect over the Official Secrets Act. 

Apr 10, 2019 9:43 am (IST)

Besides, Prashant Bhushan had said government cannot claim privilege over the documents which are already published and is in public domain. Bhushan had said that Section 123 Indian Evidence Act only protected "unpublished documents".

Apr 10, 2019 9:41 am (IST)

The Supreme Court had noted that according to the AG's submissions "there are three Rafale documents whose publication comes under Official Secrets Act, 1923. These documents were unauthorisedly published. You claim privilege under section 123 of Evidence Act. You want us to adjudicate and strike down the review on this basis".

Apr 10, 2019 9:37 am (IST)

'Centre's Objections Mala Fide' | Activist Prashant Bhushan had contended that the Centre's objections were "mala fide and totally untenable arguments". Bhushan had submitted a note countering the preliminary objections raised by the centre on maintainability of the review petitions, stating that "preliminary objection are mala fide and totally untenable arguments".

Apr 10, 2019 9:24 am (IST)

Centre Claims Privilege Over Rafale Documents | The Narendra Modi government had claimed privilege over documents pertaining to the Rafale fighter jet deal with France and said those documents cannot be considered in evidence as per Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act. Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre had contended that no one can produce them in the court without the permission of the department concerned as those documents are also protected under the Official Secrets Act and their disclosure is exempted under the Right to Information Act as per Section 8(1)(a).

Apr 10, 2019 9:18 am (IST)

Alleging that there were several anomalies in the defence deal, Yechury said the government had not only acquired less number of fighter jets than what IAF required, but also did favours to its cronies in the deal. "Lesser fighter aircraft than what IAF required, favours to a crony who had set up a company weeks ago and now this: after dubious procedures with NSA negotiating directly in violation of processes. The corrupt Modi government will be held to account for playing with national security.

Apr 10, 2019 9:15 am (IST)

Sitaram Yechury Flays Modi Govt over Rafale Deal | CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury joined the tirade against the Modi government over the Rafale deal on Tuesday. Lashing out at the government over reports of waiver given in the Rafale deal to two foreign defence companies, Yechury accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "playing" with national security.

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Rafale LIVE: Setback to Govt on Election Eve as SC Allows Classified Documents to be Used in Review Petition
Illustration by Mir Suhail/News18.com

In its December verdict, the apex court gave the Narendra Modi government a clean chit over the Rafale deal despite the Opposition’s allegations of corruption.

On March 14, the apex court had reserved verdict on the preliminary objections raised by the Centre on the admissibility of privileged documents annexed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie as also activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan in their review petition against the top court's December 14 judgment. In its affidavit, the government said, the petitioners are guilty of leaking the sensitive information on the Rafale fighter jet deal which has been widely circulated and is available to the country's enemy and adversaries.

Earlier, the Defence Ministry had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in connection with the Rafale fighter jet case, claiming that the documents submitted in the review petition are sensitive to national security.

Appearing for the government of India, Attorney General KK Venugopal had informed the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi-led bench on March 6 that documents cited by The Hindu newspaper in its reports on the controversial Rafale deal were stolen and cannot be shown in court as it would affect national security.

The government had also warned The Hindu with a case under the Official Secrets Act for publishing articles on the Rafale deal with France based on these documents.

The Central government had also claimed privilege over documents pertaining to Rafale deal and asserted that no one can produce them in the court without the permission of the department concerned.
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