SC dismisses objections on 'leaked' Rafale documents

SC said it would now fix the matter for hearing on review petitions.

In an affidavit filed on March 13, the government said the leak was a “conspiracy” to jeopardise national security and friendly relations with France, the home of Rafale’s manufacturer, Dassault Aviation. (DH File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed objections raised by the Union government on the admissibility of new documents, including defence ministry's note, for recommending its Rafale judgement.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph decided to consider merit and relevance of the contents of the documents, published in media reports.

Pronouncing its judgement on preliminary objections by the Centre, the top court said it would now fix the matter for hearing on review petitions.

Justice Joseph delivered his own judgement, concurring with the view taken by the CJI and Justice Kaul.

The top court's orders meant that new "leaked" documents containing defence minister's notings, pertaining to the 2016 deal to buy Rafale fighter jets, would be relied upon to seek review of its December 14, 2018 judgement.
 

MUST READ: Modi has nowhere to hide: Cong after SC order on Rafale
                           
Key SC decisions LIVE    

The top court had earlier dismissed the PILs for probe into the decision to purchase planes from France.

A number of fresh documents showing interference into the Indian Negotiation Team were cited by former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha, and Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan to demand review of the judgement.

On March 14, the top court had reserved its judgement and said it would decide if the “privileged” documents obtained “illegally” could be looked into.  

Attorney General K K Venugopal had contended the official documents related to the deal pertaining to the buying process and note of the defence minister were "stolen" and "illegally photocopied". Those could not be relied upon as those were also confidential and prohibited under the Official Secrets Act and were not available under the RTI Act. 

He said the matters related to the armament, war preparedness, and security of the nation were issues exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act. The security of the state is exception, he said, adding there could reasonable restrictions on freedom of speech guaranteed under the Constitution, he had said.

Bhushan, for his part, said the documents were already in public domain in public interest. There were a lot of Supreme Court judgments which hold that public interest trumped over privilege, he said.

The court had reserved its judgement "on the preliminary objections and the claim of privilege raised by the Union Government".

In an affidavit filed on March 13, the government said the leak was a “conspiracy” to jeopardise national security and friendly relations with France, the home of Rafale’s manufacturer, Dassault Aviation.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Liked the story?

  • 17

    Happy
  • 1

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 2

    Frustrated
  • 8

    Angry

Comments:

SC dismisses objections on 'leaked' Rafale documents

0 comments

Write the first review for this !