Documents being used to present 'selective, incomplete' picture: Govt on Rafale
New Delhi, Apr 10: The Union Government on Wednesday expressed concern over the use of documents with classified information by the petitioners in the Rafale deal case to present a selective and incomplete picture before the Supreme Court. The Defence Minister statement said that the main concern of the Government is that classified information concerning National Security would come out in the public domain.
The Centre's response came after the Supreme Court rejected the preliminary objection raised by the Centre against the review pleas in the Rafale case. The court said that it would now go ahead with the hearing of the review petitions in the light of the new documents cited by the petitioners, who alleged wrong doing in the Rafale deal.
"Government had provided requisite information as desired by the Supreme Court and also provided all records and files as required by CAG. The main concern of the Government is relating to availability of sensitive and classified information concerning National Security in the public domain," the statement reportedly said.
It may be recalled that when the review was filed the petitioners, Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha and Prashant Bhushan had submitted fresh documents before the court. The Centre had then pleaded that these documents were unauthorisedly photo-copied from defence files and that these would have an inimical impact on national security and also friendly relations with France.
"It is reiterated that petitioners are using documents with intention to present a selective and incomplete picture of internal secret deliberations on a matter relating to National Security and Defence," the Defence Ministry statement said.
"The documents presented by the petitioners are failing to bring out how the issues were addressed and resolved and necessary approvals of the competent authorities taken. These are selective and incomplete presentation of the facts and records by the petitioners," it added.
The petitioners in the case had moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its original verdict dated December 14 2018 in which it had given the deal a clean chit.
The court would now hear the review plea questioning the pricing of the Rafale jets.
In the original verdict, the SC had said that it found no irregularities in the government's decision making process to procure the 36 Rafale jets from Dassault under the Indo-French intergovernmental agreement.
The petitioners then sought a review of the verdict. The matter was heard at length in open court, following which the order was reserved.