Supreme Court to consider early hearing request for review of Rafale Verdict

The Supreme Court today agreed to look into request for  early hearing of a plea filed for the review of judgement on Rafale deal. Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi told petitioner Prashant Bhushan that he would consider his plea for early hearing in the Rafale case.

CJI Gogoi, however, refused to give a specific date for the hearing saying that an appropriate bench of the Supreme Court is yet to be constituted in the matter. CJI Gogoi told Bhushan that he would do something for the listing of the case. Some people including former Union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, and Bhushan filed petitions seeking the Supreme Court’s direction for a probe into the Rafale deal.

The Supreme Court judgement delivered in last December has virtually vindicated the government’s stand that due process wasa followed in finalizing the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal with France. Former union ministers Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha, Prasant Bhushan and others approached the Apex court alleging several irregularities in the deal.

The court refused to order a probe into the deal and also ruled out “commercial favouritism” in the defence contract. The apex court ruling fuelled more controversy over reference to the Rafale deal pricing details having been seen by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.

The Congress leaders including party president Rahul Gandhi countered it saying the CAG report on Rafale had not come to the PAC. Fresh media reports gave more ammunition to the opposition, which tried to corner the government over the issue. The government blamed the reference to CAG in the Supreme Court ruling on typographical error and moved a plea for correction in the judgment.

Later, more petitions were filed in the Supreme Court seeking review of its judgment in the case. Bhushan is one of the petitioners seeking review of the Supreme Court judgment on Rafale deal alleging that the government misled the court and tried to hide information from it.

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