SC to consider listing of pleas seeking review of Rafale verdict

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would consider listing of pleas seeking review of its December 14 verdict dismissing the need for an investigation into the deal to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said four applications or petitions have been filed in the Rafale matter and one of them is still lying with the registry on account of defect.
“The combination (of the judges) of bench will have to be changed. It is very difficult. We will do something for it,” the bench, also comprising Justices L N Rao and Sanjiv Khanna, said when lawyer Prashant Bhushan sought urgent listing of the petitions in the Rafale case.
Bhushan said that the review petition filed by AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh was defective and other petitions had no defects to be cured.
He also said that besides the review petition, an application seeking perjury prosecution against some central government employees for giving misleading information to the court has also been filed.
On December 14 last year, the apex court had dismissed a clutch of PILs, including the one filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and Bhushan, saying there was “no occasion to doubt” the decision-making process of the Centre in the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France.
“The information that has come into the public domain after the judgement of court was delivered prima facie shows that government ‘misled’ the court on various counts and the basis of the judgement of the court is more than one untruth submitted by the government and suppression of pertinent information.
The suppression of information by the government deprived the court of complete facts and it led to dismissal of the PILs, the plea said, adding that the errant officials who misled the court be identified and suitably dealt with.
Referring to the CAG’s audit of the deal, the plea said: “There was no CAG report at the time. The government misled the court into relying on non-existent fact/report as basis of its observation on pricing in the judgement.
“Instead of admitting that it misled the court, by way of an application for ‘correction’, government imputes that Justices …have misinterpreted tenses in English grammar in like manner individually and severally.”
The government’s act of stating “untruth” to the court in a sealed cover on ‘pricing’ and its subsequent “scandalous” plea for modification have lowered the “sanctity of judicial proceedings”, it said. (PTI)