The Supreme Court will pronounce on Wednesday its judgment on the Rafale case review petitions wherein the Centre had raised preliminary objections to the admissibility of certain documents sought to be relied on by the review petitioners.
The judgment will be pronounced at 10.30 am. The cause list for the day shows that there may be two separate judgments, one by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and the other by Justice K M Joseph.
A bench of CJI Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and Joseph had on March 14 reserved its decision after hearing the Centre and the petitioners — former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan — on the question of admissibility of the documents. The Centre had objected to admissibility of certain papers that were published by The Hindu newspaper and later carried by news agency ANI.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, had stated that the documents were unauthorisedly photocopied and leaked and that they enjoyed protection under Official Secrets Act, 1923. The government also sought their removal from the record of the case saying they were of sensitive nature and their going public could jeopardise national security.
The bench had on December 14, 2018, dismissed petitions seeking a court-monitored probe into the purchase of the jets from France, finding “no occasion to doubt the (decision-making) process” leading to the award of the contract and said there was no material to show that the government had favoured anyone commercially.
Shourie, Sinha and Bhushan sought a review of the judgment, saying the court had relied on “patently incorrect” claims made by the government in its note submitted in a sealed cover to the bench, which heard the original petition. They claimed that more information had come to light subsequently and not considering them would result in grave miscarriage of justice.