CJI Gogi, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul (Left) and KM Joseph (Right)
CJI Gogi, Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul (Left) and KM Joseph (Right)

Breaking: Supreme Court allows open court hearing in Rafale Review Petitions

Murali Krishnan

The Supreme Court today allowed open court hearing in the review petitions filed challenging its verdict in the Rafale case.

The order was passed by a Bench of Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph.

Along with the review petition, the Supreme Court will also hear the Central government’s correction application and the application by petitioners seeking perjury proceedings against officials of the Central government.

The order reads:

“The prayer for open Court hearing is allowed.

List the matters for hearing in open Court along with M.A. No.58 of 2019 in Writ Petition (Crl.) No.225 of
2018 and M.A. No.403 of 2019 in Writ Petition (Crl.) No.298 of 2018.”

The review petitions preferred by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan and Sanjay Singh claim that the judgment is based on “errors apparent on the face of the record” and ought to be recalled.

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

Referring to the Court’s reliance on the “non-existent CAG report”, the review petitioners have stated 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.

The petitions also bring 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’s mistaking of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries for Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure.

It has further been 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 has also objected 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 seeks to bring certain “subsequent information”, which if not considered, “would cause grave miscarriage of justice”.

Read the order below.

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