The Supreme Court has today reserved verdict in the matter of a batch of review petitions against the December 2018 judgment in the Rafale case. This after a three hour long hearing where all parties were given an hour to present their case.
Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan argued that the December 2018 judgement was based on incorrect and incomplete facts. He also submitted that at the time of the deal, industrialist Anil Ambani had met the French Defence Minister and produced a film for his wife. He also submitted that Ambani was given a huge tax exemption, raising questions about a possible quid pro quo. Meanwhile, Arun Shourie highlighted the perjury application speaking about false submissions in court by the government.
However, the Attorney General said that the petitioners were merely reiterating their original arguments, something that cannot be permissible in a review petition. After hearing all parties the SC reserved its judgment. The SC also reserved judgement in the contempt of court petition against INC chief Rahul Gandhi who has already apologised for wrongly attributing “Chowkidar Chor Hai” to the SC.
Brief background of Rafale Review Petiton:
In the Rafale deal, petitioners Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha and Prashant Bhushan filed review petitions against the December 2018 judgment in the case in light of new revelations that show that the government had made inaccurate/false submissions before the court. But the Center objected to the admissibility of new documents saying they had been stolen/illegally obtained and also that this was tantamount to a violation of the Official Secrets Act.
However, the SC rejected the center’s stand and said that the review petitions would be heard on their own merit. On April 30, the central government sought time to file its counter in the case and subsequently filed two affidavits; one rebutting the petitioners’ grounds for a review of the December 2018 judgment, the second a reply to the petitioners’ application demanding the production of specific documents in the case.