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Sinha, Shourie, Bhushan move SC Seek Rafale verdict review

Posted in S. Asia

Published on January 07, 2019 with No Comments

Petitioners’ contention

  • The SC relied on patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover to it
  • The government lied in the SC that the CAG report was presented in the House and PAC, and that PAC has probed it

PAC chairman Mallikarjun Kharge had said: “The government lied in the Supreme Court… the government said it (the report) is in public domain. Where is it? Have you seen it?”

Former BJP Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and lawyer Prashant Bhushan have moved the Supreme Court of India seeking review of its verdict dismissing petitions demanding a probe into alleged irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France under an inter-governmental agreement (IGA).

Demanding an “open court” hearing, the trio alleged the judgment “relied upon patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover” to the Supreme Court.

Earlier on December 14,the apex court had  dismissed petitions seeking probe into the India-France deal for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets—a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation—holding there was no commercial favouritism. There was “no” occasion to “really doubt the decision making process” warranting setting aside of the contract, it had said.

Giving clean chit to the deal, a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice KM Joseph had said pricing details of the Rs 58,000-crore deal had been examined by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament.

“The pricing details have, however, been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General (hereinafter referred to as “CAG”), and the report of the CAG has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee (hereafter referred to as “PAC”). Only a redacted portion of the report was placed before Parliament, and is in public domain,” read a portion of paragraph 25 of the 29-page verdict.

However, Congress leaders and petitioners had pointed out that CAG was yet to submit its report and there was no question of PAC having examined it. 

 

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