The Australian newspaper that published classified information on India's Scorpene submarine has been asked to hand over all the documents it has to French shipbuilder DCNS, the country's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. The bench also disallowed The Australian from publishing any more information on the Scorpene submarine, PTI reported. The court had already temporarily prevented the paper from going forward with its exposé on Monday, but on Thursday confirmed the order, DCNS said in a statement.
The French company hailed the court's decision, saying "confidentiality of information and communication is a matter of utmost importance". It has now filed a case before the Paris Public Prosecutor against an unknown party for breach of trust, receiving the proceeds of an offence and aiding and abetting.
DCNS had said the data leak may have been part of an economic warfare strategy against the defence contractor. India had ordered six Scorpene submarines from them worth $3 billion (Rs 20,000 crore approximately). The first batch had started undergoing trials in May, and the first of the submarines – INS Kalvari – was expected to be inducted into the Navy in November. The Indian Navy is conducting an internal audit to eliminate the possibility of any security compromise, and the Director General for Armament of France is leading their own investigation.