Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie move Supreme Court for review of Rafale judgment

New Delhi: FormerUnion ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, and advocate Prashant BhushanWednesday moved the Supreme Court, seeking review of its December 14 verdictdismissing all PILs alleging irregularities in the procurement of 36 Rafalejets from France.

Intheir review plea, they alleged that the judgment “relied upon patentlyincorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealedcover” to the apex court. They have also sought that the plea be heard inan open court. The Supreme Court had on December 14 last year dismissed thepleas challenging the deal between India and France for procurement of 36 jets,saying there was no occasion to “really doubt the decision makingprocess” warranting setting aside of the contract.

Thetop court had rejected the pleas seeking lodging of an FIR and thecourt-monitored probe alleging irregularities in the Rs 58,000 crore deal, inwhich both the countries have entered into an inter-governmental agreement(IGA). The Centre had on December 15 last year filed an application in the topcourt seeking correction in a paragraph in its judgement on the Rafale deal inwhich a reference was made about the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)report and Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Inits judgement, the apex court had noted that the pricing details have beenshared with CAG, and the report of the CAG has been examined by the PAC. Theissue of CAG and PAC was mentioned in paragraph 25 of the judgement of the topcourt which had held that there were no irregularities in the procurement ofthe jets from France. The judgement had said that the material placed before itshows that the Centre did not disclose in Parliament the pricing details of theRafale fighter jet, but revealed it to the Comptroller and Auditor General. Afterthe verdict, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who chairs the PAC, had saidno such report had come to him. The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine MediumMulti Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) manufactured by French aerospace companyDassault Aviation.

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