The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will hold an open hearing of review petitions of its December 2018 verdict dismissing the need for an inquiry into India’s deal with France to buy Rafale fighter jets, Live Law reported. The decision was passed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph.
The court has, however, not given a date for the hearing.
On December 14, the court had dismissed a clutch of public interest litigations, including a petition submitted by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and lawyer Prashant Bhushan, seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation inquiry into the deal. The court had said there was “no occasion to doubt the Centre’s decision-making process in the deal”.
In their review petition, the petitioners, Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan, had alleged that the judgement “relied upon patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover”. The plea also sought perjury proceedings against officials of the central government for allegedly submitting “false or misleading” data about the Rafale jet deal.
The petitioners had also said that apart from relying on incorrect facts presented by the Centre, the court did not consider a letter that retired bureaucrats had written to the Comptroller and Auditor General protesting that there had been no CAG report on the deal even though three years had passed since it was signed. The petitioners said that contrary to government claims, the CAG report on the deal did not exist at that times, and had not been placed before the Public Accounts Committee. In relying on a “non-existent fact” to pass its verdict, the court made a “substantial error”, they had argued.