The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed preliminary objections by the government in the review petitions in the Rafale fighter jet case. Furthermore, the top court is set to fix the date for final arguments in the Rafale review.
"We dismiss the preliminary objection raised by Union of India questioning the maintainability of the review petition," a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said in the top court.
This allows the court to consider the "unauthorised classified" documents sourced by the media can be considered evidence in the case and a basis for re-examining its December verdict.
Speaking to the media following the case hearing, activists Arun Shourie who filed review plea in Rafale deal verdict, said:
"It's a big shot in the arm for the country. It's a unanimous judgment in which the government's exceptions have been rejected."
The Supreme Court on Wednesday was hearing its December 14, 2018 judgement, wherein it had dismissed all petitions seeking court-monitored probe into Rafale fighter jet deal with France, saying that there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process in the deal. The top court had also said that it was not its job to go into the issue of pricing of fighter planes.
On March 14, the PM Narendra Modi-led government filed a fresh affidavit in the apex court in the Rafale case, saying that "unauthorisedly-accessed" documents related to "internal secret deliberations" had been presented in a "selective" manner to mislead the court and amounted to damaging national security.
(With agency inputs)