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Supreme Court Allows Open Court Hearing In Rafale Review Petitions [Read Order]

The Supreme Court on February 26, 2019, allowed open court hearing in the review petitions filed challenging its judgment in the Rafale case on December 14, 2018.

The order was passed by a Bench comprising of Chief Justice of IndiaRanjan Gogoi and JusticesSanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph.

Along with the review petition, the Supreme Court will also hear the Central government’s correction application and the application by petitioners seeking initiation of perjury proceedings against officials responsible for filing notes in sealed cover containing false/misleading information intended to mislead the apex court.

The review petitions filed by former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha and lawyer Prashant Bhushan on January 2, 2019, challenged the judgment by alleging that the verdict was based on “errors apparent on the face of the record” and ought to be recalled.

The petitioners asserted that the Centre “quite clearly misled the court” as the court had relied upon

“false averments” to come to the conclusion that the procedure for procurement of the 36 Rafale jets was duly complied with.

Further, it was also asserted that the verdict did not take into consideration the fact that Reliance Aerostructure Ltd, the beneficiary of the offset contract, was ineligible to be chosen as an offset partner.

Moreover, the court did not even dealt with the petitioners’ prayer for registration of FIR and investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Instead, the Court reviewed the contract “prematurely” without the benefit of any investigation or inquiry into disputed questions of facts, the plea submitted.

The petition also objected to the court’s reliance on the Centre’s note on the pricing of Rafale jets, which was neither shared with the petitioners nor examined in the light of other “primary documents”.


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