The Supreme Court has reserved its order on Centre claiming privilege over leaked documents in the Rafale deal.
Documents need to be genuine and relevant, what the government is doing is an after thought, said Arun Shorie, petitioner in the Rafale case, before the SC concluded the hearing.
There are multiple judgments in place which clearly states that the court will not be concerned about where a document is sourced from if it is relevant evidence: Prashant Bhushan
We entered into an inter-governmental agreement with France that the price will not be disclosed. That’s why we were forced to tell the CAG to redact the price otherwise we would have been in breach of the agreement with France: KK Venugopal, Attorney General
In November, they claimed that the CAG report will be given and the CAG will have redacted information regarding pricing. How did the government know this in advance that the CAG will redact the pricing information?: Prashant Bhushan
No FIR filed against “stolen documents”. No restrain on media from publishing the documents. Govt has themselves shared the documents with “friendly media”, specifically the file notings of the Raksha Mantri: Prashant Bhushan
Sole purpose of the government is to protect high ranking public servants against whom allegations have been made by the petitioners: Prashant Bhushan
Each one of these documents have been published and have been available in the public domain for a long time. To say documents in public domain should not be considered by the court is an untenable argument: Prashant Bhushan
On the basis of this affidavit they’re claiming privilege when their objection itself is malafide. Reason to take this objection is not to prevent any harm coming onto national security or defence secrets: Prashant Bhushan
AG alleges that documents which affect the security of the country cannot be looked upon. Second limb of his arguments is under the Official Secrets Act. Third argument was that the petitioners have not disclosed their source: Prashant Bhushan, Petitioner
When the parliament passed the RTI act in 2005 they took a whole generation forward. Let’s not go back. Let’s go forward: Justice KM Joseph
Judges point out that under the official secrets act there are two exceptions of corruption and human rights violations.
Justice KM Joseph - File notings have lost the kind of relevance they had in the past.
Attorney general arguing in reference to the official secrets act, says Rafale documents are privileged documents under the official secrets act and hence cannot be produced in court
The Supreme Court on Thursday will hear the review petitions against its December 14 judgment in the Rafale deal.
The government on Wednesday, March 13, 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.
The Ministry of Defence sought dismissal of both the review petition and the miscellaneous application in the matter while contending that it has become imperative for the Union of India to seek removal of these documents from the record of the Review Petition and Miscellaneous application filed by the petitioners.
It told the court that the documents attached by the petitioners in the Rafale review case are sensitive to national security and relate to war capacity of the combat aircraft. The government said the unauthorised photocopying of such documents has adversely affected the sovereignty, security and friendly relations with the foreign countries.
Those who have conspired in this leakage are guilty of penal offences including theft by unauthorized photocopying and leakage of sensitive official documents affecting national security. These matters are now subject of an internal inquiry which commenced on February 28, the affidavit said.
It is of utmost concern to the central government to find out where the leakage took place so that in future the sanctity of decision-making process in governance is maintained, the Defence Ministry said.
The petitioners are using unauthorisedly accessed documents with the intention to present a selective and incomplete picture of internal secret deliberations on a matter relating to national security and defence, it said.