The Supreme Court will hear on Friday the petitions seeking a review of its December 2018 judgement that had rejected the need of an investigation into the India-France Rafale fighter jet deal. The review pleas have been filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan and former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie among others.
On Thursday, the Centre filed a reply affidavit in the top court, saying that the demand for perjury proceedings against some public servants in the case was misconceived, PTI reported. The review petitions have sought perjury action against unknown government officials for allegedly misleading the court during hearings last year.
In its affidavit, the Centre said the allegations of making false statements and suppressing facts in court were “completely false” and “baseless”. The government reiterated its claim that the petitioners were relying on “selective leaks” of Defence Ministry files in the media, and that they present an “incomplete picture”.
The government had in March used the argument to demand that the review petitions be dismissed. On April 10, however, the Supreme Court said it would go ahead with the hearings even if the pleas were based on what the government said were stolen and classified documents.
The government said in its affidavit that the petitioners’ claim that public officials had made false statements and suppressed evidence was an “attempt to intimidate government servants from performing their duty”, and “on this ground alone, the application is liable to be dismissed”.
The Centre also said that media reports cannot form the basis for seeking perjury proceedings as it is well settled that courts do not take decisions on the basis of media reports.
Earlier this month, the Centre had told the Supreme Court in another affidavit that the decision of the Prime Minister’s Office to monitor the Rafale jet deal cannot be construed as interference, as implied by a media report.