Rafale: Centre misled Court, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan file Review Petition

Rafale: Centre misled Court, Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan file Review Petition

Aditi Singh

After the Supreme Court dismissed the petitions calling for an investigation into the controversial Rafale Deal, a Review Petition under Article 137 of the Constitution has been moved before the Supreme Court.

The Review Petition preferred by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Prashant Bhushan, claims that the judgment is based on “errors apparent on the face of the record” and ought to be recalled. The petitioners have, therefore, sought an oral hearing in open court.

Asserting that the Centre “quite clearly misled the court”, the petition submits that the Court has relied upon “false averments” to come to the conclusion that the procedure for procurement of the 36 Rafale jets has been duly complied with.

The government has blatantly misled the Hon’ble Court and the Hon’ble Court has grossly erred in placing reliance on false averments in the note not even supported by an affidavit. The entire judgement is based on disputed questions of facts in respect of which an investigation needs to be done. As the judgement is based on evidently false averments in the note not shared with the petitioners, on that ground alone the entire judgement ought to be not just reviewed but recalled.”

The verdict also errs in “not at all considering” that Reliance Aerostructure Ltd, the beneficiary of the offset contract, was ineligible to be chosen as an offset partner, it has been submitted.

Referring to the Court’s reliance on the “non-existent CAG report”, the petition states that the Court “erred in relying on a non-existent fact to render its judgment”. It further iterates that the reference was not an “accidental slip” but rather a substantial error.

It has been argued that the Court “erred in not dealing with the fundamental issue” as to who decided to change the parameters set out in the Acceptance of Necessity (AON) granted in June of 2007 by the Defence Acquisition Council, and on what basis.

 “No material has been brought on record by the government to show that the IAF sought for reduction of the quantities. Without going into this fundamental issue the impugned judgement errs in holding that the ‘decision making process’ was “broadly” in accordance with the Defence Procurement Procedures.”

It also brings the Court’s attention to its “erroneous recording” of answers on the decision-making process and pricing given by Air Force officers. Also pointed out is the Court confusing Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure.

It is further submitted that the petitioners’ prayer for registration of FIR and investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was not even dealt with by the Court. Instead, the Court reviewed the contract “prematurely” without the benefit of any investigation or inquiry into disputed questions of facts.

The petition also objects to the Court’s reliance on the Centre’s note on the pricing of Rafale jets, which was neither shared with the petitioners nor examined in the light of other “primary documents”.

Further, the petition also seeks to bring certain “subsequent information”, which if not considered, “would cause grave miscarriage of justice”.

“..several new facts have come to light after the judgment was reserved in the matter, which go to the root of the matter and falsify the claims of the government which have been relied upon by the Hon’ble Court in it’s judgment.”

Citing an article published by The Caravan, the petitioner has brought on record information on objections by expert members within the Indian Negotiating Team over several issues. It also brings to the Court’s notice information regarding the political decision to increase the Benchmark Price as well as to waive off the sovereign guarantee.

Read the Review Petition below.

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news