Rafale: Sinha, Shourie & Bhushan file review petition

They claimed that the judgement contained "patent legal and factual errors".

Former Union Ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against the December 14 that dismissed their plea for a probe into the deal to buy Rafale fighter jets from France.

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.

"The judgement contains several errors apparent on the face of the record which go to the root of the matter," the petition filed by Bhushan stated.

The petitioners cited, among others, a news report stating Sudhanshu Mohanty, former Controller General of Defence Accounts and also a former Financial Adviser (Defence Services) in the Ministry of Defence, that the decision to increase the benchmark price taking into account the price in the 126 aircraft deal that never materialised was erroneous.

The petitioners also claimed that their plea for registration of an FIR and investigation by CBI was not dealt with by the top court and instead the contract has been reviewed prematurely without the benefit of any investigation or inquiry into disputed questions of facts.

Notably, the Union government had on December 16 filed an application seeking “correction of the errors” in the judgement delivered a day before while dismissing a batch of PILs seeking probe into the deal to buy Rafale fighter jets from France in 2016.

The Narendra Modi government had on December 14 got the major relief as, the Supreme Court rejected a plea for a probe into the April 2016 deal.

The deal has led the main Opposition Congress party to attack the Union government for not disclosing the price, reducing the number of aircraft from 126 to 36 and favouring an Anil Ambani's company.

The top court rejected the charges of irregularities in the decision-making process and favouritism in selecting Anil Ambani's company as offset partner. It also took note of the government's assertion on pricing as "there are certain better terms with regard to maintenance and weapon package."

However, on the same day, a controversy erupted with Congress President Rahul Gandhi claiming the CAG report on Rafale aircraft pricing was not shared with Public Account Committee contrary to the Supreme Court's findings in the judgement. However, it is to be noted that the apex court's ruling allowing a plea of the government to keep the price under secret was not based on this sole factor.

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Rafale: Sinha, Shourie & Bhushan file review petition


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