New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear a batch of pleas Wednesday seeking a review of its December 2018 judgment where it had said that the Indo-French deal over the acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets didn’t need scrutiny.
The top court had agreed to hear the review petition in open court last week.
The review will be tagged along with an application filed by the Modi government seeking correction of two lines in the controversial paragraph 25 of the verdict, and perjury proceedings against the Centre for misleading the Supreme Court.
On 15 December, the Modi government had filed an application seeking correction of two lines in ‘paragraph 25’ of the Supreme Court order on the Rafale deal. The top court “misinterpreted” a note filed along with the sealed cover, the Modi government had said a day after the verdict was pronounced.
In the contentious paragraph, the top court had said that the pricing details of the deal have been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the CAG report has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament.
“Only a redacted portion of the report was placed before the Parliament, and is in public domain,” the court order had read.
Associated with the particular case, former union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha, along with advocate Prashant Bhushan have also sought to initiate perjury proceedings against government officials for misleading the court on this issue.
The trio had also filed the initial plea challenging the Rafale deal.
In December 2018, the top court threw its weight behind the decision-making process of India’s deal with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft and dismissed all pleas challenging it.
“…Country can’t afford to be unprepared in matters of fighter aircraft,” a bench headed by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had said.
“We can’t go into wisdom of purchasing 36 in place of over 100 aircraft under the last [UPA] deal… Don’t even need to go into pricing.” he had added.
The order had come on a batch of petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the Narendra Modi government’s controversial purchase of Rafale fighter jets from French firm Dassault Aviation.