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SC Might Hear Rafale Review Petitions On 6th March

2 March 2019 2:28 PM GMT
SC Might Hear Rafale Review Petitions On 6th March
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The Three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is likely to hear the review petitions filed in Rafale case on Wednesday, 6th March 2019.

This bench, also comprising of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph would sit after the proceedings of the CJI headed five judge constitution bench in Ayodhya case gets over.

The Ayodhya case is posted on 6th March for the limited purpose of passing orders on reference of the dispute to a Court appointed mediation process. As this might not take much time, it is most likely that the three judge bench will hear the review petitions in Rafale cases.

Last week, when these review petitions filed by former ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, Advocate Prashant Bhushan and AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, were taken up in CJI's Chamber, the judges had decided it to give an open court hearing. Along with the review petitions, the Court will also hear the correction petition filed by the Central Government, and also the petition filed for initiating perjury proceedings against officials who allegedly misled the Court by submitting false information in the notes submitted to the Court.

On December 14 last year, the apex court had dismissed a clutch of Public Interest Litigations, observing that there was "no occasion to doubt" the decision-making process of the Centre in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France.

Review petitions have claimed that the judgment contains "patent factual and legal errors". The following are some of the main grounds on which the review is sought.

  • The prayer of the petitioners for registration of FIR and investigation by CBI was not dealt with and instead the contract was reviewed prematurely without the benefit of any investigation or inquiry into disputed questions of facts.
  • The government has blatantly misled the Hon'ble Court and the Hon'ble Court has grossly erred in placing reliance on false averments in the note not even supported by an affidavit.
  • The entire judgement is based on disputed questions of facts in respect of which an investigation needs to be done.
  • As the judgement is based on evidently false averments in the note not shared with the petitioners, on that ground alone the entire judgement ought to be not just reviewed but recalled.
  • The judgment did not consider material facts that raise pertinent issues such as: absence of sovereign guarantee by France in the Inter-Government Agreement even though Defence Procurement Procedures prescribed it, objections in Indian Negotiating Team (INT) to increase the benchmark price from 5.2 billion to 8.2 billion Euros, and selection of Mr. Ambani's RAL as an offset partner.


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