New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday began hearing a petition seeking a review of its December 14, 2018, judgement in the Rafale jet purchase matter in the open court.
Attorney General KK Venugopal said documents relied upon by advocate Prashant Bhushan were stolen from Defence Ministry by present or former employees.
“We are dealing with defence purchases which involve security of the state. It is a very sensitive case. Investigation is underway on documents relating to Rafale deal was stolen,” Venugopal added.
Venugopal said those who put documents on Rafale deal in public domain guilty under Official Secrets Act and contempt of court.
Attorney General also asked for dismissal of Rafale review petition and perjury application as they relied on stolen documents. He said that Wednesday’s The Hindu report on Rafale amounts to influencing the hearing in Supreme Court and is itself contempt of court.
Supreme Court said it won’t look into any supplementary affidavits or other documents not filed before it.
CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that hearing advocate Prashant Bhushan does not mean Supreme Court was taking on record documents on Rafale deal.
The Supreme Court asked the Attorney General to inform after lunch (at 2 pm) what action has been taken on theft of documents on Rafale deal.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had refused to order a probe on the deal. It had said that there was “no occasion to doubt” the Centre’s decision-making process.
The petition referred to the CAG’s audit of the deal and states that at the time of the Supreme Court’s verdict, no CAG report existed.
The petition further alleged that the ruling government misled the court into a non-existent report as the basis of its observation on Rafale’s pricing in the judgement.
It also claimed that information that came to public domain after judgement had ‘misled’ court on various counts.
The Congress has been relentless in attacking Modi government and has accused Anil Ambani of corruption in the deal. However, both the government and Ambani have denied the allegations.