SC to hear petitions on its Rafale ruling in the light of leaked classified documents

In a setback to the Indian government hours before the first phase of general elections, the Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to hear review petitions against its December 14 ruling on Rafale case in the light of leaked classified documents published by a newspaper and cited by the petitioners.

The top court dismissed the government’s preliminary objection claiming privilege over the documents.

The government argued that the documents are highly sensitive to national security and they cannot be disclosed in court as they are covered under the Official Secrets Act.

The court said the review petitions over its ruling dismissing all petitions against India’s procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France will be decided on merit.

The court will also look into the pricing of the jet and selection of Indian offset partner of Dassault which manufactures Rafale. It will fix a date for hearing review petitions.

Former federal minister Arun Shourie, one of the review petitioners, welcomed the court’s unanimous verdict.

Welcoming the Supreme Court’s stand, Congress president Rahul Gandhi made a shocking comment from Amethi soon after filing his nomination papers for election.

He said the top court has “accepted that there was corruption in Rafale and that the Prime Minister has given Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani.”

The court never said a word on Modi or Ambani on Wednesday. 

Rahul also said the Supreme Court has “done justice today,” and “begun an investigation into the Rafale deal.”