In a blow to the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, the SC dismissed its objections and held that leaked documents in the Rafale case will be admissible in review petitions.
This was a unanimous verdict. The SC said that the petitions will be dealt with on merit.
The petitions had been filed against the SC’s December 14 judgement refusing to order probe in procuring 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
The apex court dismissed Centre’s preliminary objections seeking review of earlier judgment giving clean chit to the Union Government in Rafale deal.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi pronounced the verdict.
Reacting to the verdict, petitioner Arun Shourie said Centre’s argument meant no wrong can be done in the defence deal.
“We are delighted at unanimous verdict dismissing Centre’s argument on admissibility of documents,” he said.
The Centre had submitted that the privilege documents were procured by petitioners in an illegal way and used to support their review petitions against the December 14, 2018 judgement of the apex court dismissing all pleas challenging procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
“We dismiss the preliminary objection raised by Union of India questioning the maintainability of the review petition,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said.
The top court said review petitions against its December 14 verdict dismissing all petitions against procurement of Rafale jets will be decided on merits.
The apex court said it will fix a date for hearing review petitions.