Former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie have sought a direction from the Supreme Court to initiate perjury proceedings against Union government officials for giving false and misleading information in a sealed envelope in Rafale petitions.
The petitioners, including advocate Prashant Bhushan, contended the government misled the court by giving untruth and suppressing material information.
The top court had dismissed their plea for probe into the 2016 deal to buy Rafale fighter jets from France.
By their fresh application, the petitioners sought an inquiry to identify the officers who were responsible for filing the sealed notes. They also sought a direction for filing a complaint under Section 340 of the Criminal Procedure Code for initiating proceedings for perjury.
On January 1, the petitioners had filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against the December 14, 2018, judgement that had dismissed their plea.
They claimed that the judgement contained "patent legal and factual errors". The top court relied upon incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover, they contended.
On December 15, 2018, the Union government had already approached the court seeking “correction of the errors” in the judgement delivered a day before on a batch of PILs seeking probe into the deal to buy Rafale jets in 2016.
“Unfortunately, an element of misinterpretation of the statement made in the note/bullet points handed over on behalf of the Union of India in the sealed cover appears to have crept in. This has also resulted in a controversy being raised in the public domain,” the Defence Ministry stated in its application.
It sought a direction urgently for corrections in paragraph 25 of its judgement “so that any doubts and or any misunderstanding is not allowed to creep in.”
The application by the government said, “The statement that only a redacted version of the report “is” placed before Parliament, is referred to in the judgment as “only a redacted portion of the report was placed before the Parliament, and is in public domain”.