SC to consider plea for recall of Rafale verdict

New Delhi: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday agreed to consider a petition seeking a recall of its verdict that gave a clean chit to the government’s acquisition of 36 Rafale fighter jets and initiation of perjury proceedings against officials, who allegedly misled the court by giving false evidence and suppressing information.

The application has been moved by former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, journalist-turned-politician Arun Shourie and activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan.

Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan had on January 2, sought a recall of the verdict contending that the court had “relied upon patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover.”

Seeking an open court hearing, the petitioners had in their review petition, faulted the judgement on several counts, including on information that has come into public domain after the pronouncement of the December 14 judgement.

However, their plea was dismissed along with a clutch of petitions seeking a review of the SC verdict in the acquisition of Rafale fighter jets from French firm Dassault Aviation.

On Thursday, the bench headed by CJI Gogoi agreed to take up the plea after Bhushan also mentioned his application for action against officials, who allegedly suppressed information and misled the court.

The review petition will be heard by a bench comprising CJI Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph — judges who had heard the Rafale deal case and pronounced the December 14 judgement.

The application seeking perjury proceedings against officials, has contended that the court was allegedly misled into rendering the December 14, 2018 verdict on the basis of false evidence and suppressed crucial and pertinent information by the government in the course of judicial proceedings.

Seeking direction for identification of officials who allegedly misled the court or suppressed crucial information from it, the application says that proceedings be initiated against them for offences made out under sections 193 and 195 of the IPC.

Pointing out that “false evidence” and “suppression of information” by the government in its “notes” has lowered the court’s dignity and majesty, the application urged the court to consider taking suo motu action against it.