The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the review petitions in the Rafale jet deal matter in an open court. The court will also hear the application filed by the Centre, along with other review pleas.
A bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph took up the request of petitioners to hear the two review petitions of its December 14 verdict that had dismissed pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets.
“The prayer for open court hearing is allowed,” the bench said.
The two petitions have been filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan, while the other was filed by Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh.
On December 14, 2018, the apex court had dismissed various pleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 Rafale jets saying there was no occasion to “really doubt the decision making process” warranting setting aside of the contract.
It had rejected the pleas seeking lodging of an FIR and the court-monitored probe alleging irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal, in which both the countries have entered into an inter-governmental agreement (IGA).
The review petition has sought a review of the verdict, stating that the top court had relied on “patently incorrect” claims made by the government in its note submitted in a sealed cover to the bench which heard the original petition. Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan claimed that additional information emerged subsequently and not considering them would result in grave miscarriage of justice.