Rafale deal is clean reiterates Supreme Court while rejecting review petitions
New Delhi, Nov 14: The Supreme Court upheld its earlier verdict in the Rafale case, while rejecting a batch of petitions that sought review of December 2018 judgment.
A review petition had been filed challenging the clean chit given to the NDA government in the purchase of 36 fully loaded Rafale jets from France under the inter-governmental deal.
With the review petitions being rejected, the earlier order of the court that gave the government a clean chit remains in force. The Supreme Court said that there is no ground to order an FIR into the procurement of the Rafale jets. There is no merit in the plea seeking probe into defence deal, the court said.
Justice S K Kaul who read out the verdict said that there are no grounds to order an FIR. The court cannot initiate a roving and fishing inquiry. There are no grounds for an FIR, the court said while rejecting the review petitions.
Former Union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan had filed a petition seeking review of the December 14, 2018 verdict of the Supreme Court giving clean chit to the Rafale deal.
Besides the trio, AAP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh has also filed a separate review petition in the case.
In the verdict, the court said there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France and dismissed all the petitions seeking an investigation into alleged irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal.
The top court had said there was no substantial evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity.
On January 2, Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan had approached the Supreme Court seeking review of the judgement, alleging that the court had relied upon "patently incorrect" claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover in the court.
The Centre had submitted that three privileged documents were unauthorisedly removed from the Defence Ministry and used by the petitioners to support their review petitions against the verdict which had dismissed all pleas challenging the procurement of the fighter jets.