Rafale deal: Supreme Court agrees to hear review plea

Congress workers protesting against Rafale deal. PTI file photo.

The Supreme Court on Thursday indicated to consider soon a number of petitions seeking a review of its December, 2018 verdict on the Rafale judgement.

The top court, however, did not specify the exact date.

As many as four petitions, including two seeking review of the judgement, are pending before the court. The Union government has also filed an application for correction of the judgement. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, for his part, filed a plea seeking perjury action against the senior officers of the Union government for "misleading" the court on the CAG report.

On Thursday, Bhushan mentioned the matter before a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for listing of the matter.

"We will do something about it. We are sitting in a different combination (of judges). It is difficult to change it," the CJI said.

The top court had on December 14, 2018, dismissed the plea for probe made by former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and advocate Bhushan into the 2016 deal to buy Rafale fighter jets.

The judgement was passed by a bench of CJI and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph.

At present, the CJI is heading a bench which comprised Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna.

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 judgement that had dismissed their plea. AAP MP Sanjay Singh also filed a separate review petition.

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 including by advocates Manohar Lal Sharma and Vineet Dhanda.

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