The Supreme Court today reserved its orders on the Rafale review petitions against its December 2018 judgment and on the contempt petition filed against Rahul Gandhi for attributing ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ remark to the apex court.
Earlier on Monday, the Centre had told the SC that ‘categorical and emphatic’ findings recorded by the top court in its December 14, 2018, last year verdict in the Rafale deal case has no apparent error warranting its review. Slamming the petitioners, the Centre further stated that the scope of the review petition is ‘extremely limited’. It also alleged the demand for review petition is based on press reports and incomplete internal file notings procured unauthorisedly and illegally.
“The review petition…is an attempt to get a fishing and roving inquiry ordered, which this court has specifically declined to go into based on the perception of individuals. A non-existent distinction is sought to be created between an inquiry by the CBI and the court by playing on words,” the Centre’s affidavit said.
The Centre pointed out that all papers and files have been made available to the CAG who has given his report “concluding that the price of 36 Rafale is 2.86 per cent lower than the audit aligned price, apart from additional benefits which would accrue because of change from a firm and fixed pricing to non-firm price.” It said that waiver of a sovereign or bank guarantee in government-to-government agreements or contracts is not unusual.
Notably, the plea seeking review of the December 14 verdict and a probe into the alleged irregularities in the multi-crore Rafale fighter jet deal has been filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist-advocate Prashant Bhushan.