In a major setback to Narendra Modi government during Lok Sabha polls, the Supreme Court today dismissed the government’s objection over admissibility of the ‘leaked’ documents cited by petitioners seeking review of Rafale verdict of December 2018.
The top court has allowed use of the documents in admitting the review petition filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, and lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan. The government had argued that the plea for review of the Rafale verdict was not maintainable as it was based on documents, which were covered under the Official Secrets Act.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, in a unanimous decision, has held that it would consider the papers while examining the review petition. CJI Gogoi stated the review petition would be considered on the basis of the three documents whose admissibility was questioned.
Justice KM Joseph, the other judge on the bench, also concurred with the conclusion but offered different reasons for allowing the ‘leaked’ documents.Petitioner Arun Shourie said he was delighted by the Supreme Court’s unanimous verdict dismissing Centre’s argument on admissibility of documents.
The Supreme Court on December 14 had rejected a petition seeking independent probe into the Rafale deal. The petitioners had alleged fiscal malfeasance and commercial favouritism in the Rafale deal. The court had then rejected the plea for a probe and ruled out commercial favouritism in its judgment.