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SC Agrees To Hear Rafale Review Petitions

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
21 Feb 2019 10:50 AM GMT
SC Agrees To Hear Rafale Review Petitions
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The Supreme Court today said it would consider listing of pleas seeking review of its December 14 verdict dismissing the need for an investigation into the deal to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said four applications or petitions have been filed in the Rafale matter and one of them is still lying with the registry on account...

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The Supreme Court today said it would consider listing of pleas seeking review of its December 14 verdict dismissing the need for an investigation into the deal to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said four applications or petitions have been filed in the Rafale matter and one of them is still lying with the registry on account of defect.

"The combination (of the judges) of bench will have to be changed. It is very difficult. We will do something for it," the bench, also comprising Justices L N Rao and Sanjiv Khanna, said when lawyer Prashant Bhushan sought urgent listing of the petitions in the Rafale case.

Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, who were part of the bench which delivered the Rafale verdict, are not sharing bench with CJI as per present roster arrangement. Therefore, a bench with this combination will have to be specially constituted for hearing the review pleas.

Bhushan said that the review petition filed by AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh was defective and other petitions had no defects to be cured. He also said that besides the review petition, an application seeking perjury prosecution against some central government employees for giving misleading information to the court has also been filed.

On December 14 last year, the apex court had dismissed a clutch of PILs, including the one filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and Bhushan, saying there was "no occasion to doubt" the decision-making process of the Centre in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France.

The trio had moved the apex court Monday seeking initiation of perjury proceedings against central government officials for allegedly giving "false or misleading" information in a sealed cover in the high-profile Rafale case.

The petition is based on the information contained in the recently submitted report of the Comptroller and Auditor General(CAG), and also reports in The Hindu and The Caravan.

"That the Hon'ble Court has been misled into rendering it's judgement on the basis of false evidence and suppression of crucial pertinent information by the government in the course of judicial proceedings", submit the petitioners. They seek a probe to find out the officials responsible for making the 'note', and registration of perjury complaint in exercise of powers under Section 340 read with 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. "As this false evidence has been given/suppression of information done in 'notes' submitted pursuant to the Orders of the Hon'ble Court, it is also contemptuous and has lowered the dignity and majesty of the Hon'ble Court and suo moto action should be considered by the Hon'ble Court against errant official/s", they demand further.

Advocate M L Sharma was the first petitioner in the case. Later, another lawyer, Vineet Dhanda, moved the apex court seeking a court-monitored probe into the deal. AAP leader Sanjay Singh also filed a petition.

After the three petitions were filed, Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan moved the apex court seeking a direction to the CBI to register an FIR for alleged irregularities in the deal.

(With PTI Inputs)

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