Amid allegations by the Congress of corruption in the Rafale jet deal of 2016, the Supreme Court will recommence hearing petitions for review of the decision taken in December 2018.
Amid allegations by the Congress of corruption in the Rafale jet deal of 2016, the Supreme Court will recommence hearing petitions for review of the decision taken in December 2018. The decision said that there was no reason to doubt the decisions taken by the government in the Rafale case.
Petitions had been filed against the government citing an overpriced deal with Indian businessman Anil Ambani to ensure an offset deal with jet maker Dassault. The previous hearing had witnessed severe criticism by the opposition as the admission from the centre of papers being stolen was admitted. The attorney general later stated that the papers were photocopied.
Prior to the hearing, the Centre has stated that papers are ''sensitive to national security" and conspiracy to steal papers amounts to putting the security of the nation in danger. The centre further appealed to the Supreme Court to dismiss the petitions connected to the Rafale case as asking for a review amounts to violation of the Official Secrets Act which can result in the concerned parties being jailed or fined.
The defence ministry states that the Centre has maintained secrecy over the matter and the parties applying for petition "are guilty of leakage of sensitive information, which offends the terms of the agreements". On March 6, The Hindu was also accused of leaking sensitive information and contempt of court under the Official Secrets Act. Chairman of The Hindu publishing group, N Ram defended the paper by saying the information was only released in 'public interest' and sources will never be mentioned.
Reports published by the Hindu say that the deal had become costly for India after France refused to provide bank guarantees and the defence ministry had explicitly opposed the Prime Minister's office in terms of parallel negotiations for the Rafale jets.
Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, former NDA members, have filed petitions in the court for re-considering the earlier judgement. Congress maintains that an overpriced deal was finalized with Dassault for partnering with Anil Ambani’s defence firm. The government and Dassault both deny the allegations.
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Last Updated Mar 14, 2019, 11:29 AM IST