The Supreme court ordeal said that government has to submit every legitimate document regarding Rafale deal to the petitioners and remaining confidential documents should be submitted to Supreme court in a sealed cover.
The Supreme Court took a U-turn this Wednesday. In a case dealing with Rafale deal, it ordered, “The court would like to be apprised to the details with regard to pricing/cost, advantages thereof, if any, which will be submitted in a sealed cover”
The interesting fact here to be noted is, On this same case, the supreme court bench led by Chief justice Deepak Mishra said that the pricing and suitability of THE equipment would not be covered as the matter is too sensitive and should be covered under Official secrets act. This judgement was given on October 10. But this time, the Supreme Court took a U-Turn (making the matter more volatile) and said that pricing and strategic details too would be covered.
Attorney General KK Venugopal speaking from the side of Government objected that such matter should not be disclosed as it comes under the Official Secret Act.
Taking the objection into account, Bench said whatever documents that could be produced legitimately in public domain should be handled to the group of petitioners and rest of the content covered under Official Secrets Act should be given to the court in a sealed cover.
The Chief Justice said, “If pricing is something exclusive that you are not sharing, file an affidavit to that effect. State on the affidavit that you cannot furnish those details”
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by rebel BJP minister Yashwant Sinha (Former Union Minister), veteran journalist and Author Arun Shourie and eminent lawyer Prashant Bhushan. According to the petitioners, the deal is made in such manner that Reliance Aerospace Limited (RAL) is benefited while government agencies are put aside.
The opposition has been making attacks on the government since the matter has come to limelight. Now, this court hearing will give weapon in the hands of the opposition. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had already remarked, “Mr Modi is not (just) called a corrupt man, he is a corrupt man. Let’s not be confused. The Rafale case is an open and shut case. The day an inquiry starts on Rafale, it is only a question of time that the PM will go to jail. Nothing less.”
The matter has been adjourned to November to November 14.