Rafale review petitions to be heard on merits. Documents objected to by Centre are admissible, holds SC unanimously.
Supreme Court dismisses preliminary objections by Central government on maintainability of the review petition.
The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Wednesday its verdict on the government’s plea claiming privilege over the documents filed by petitioners seeking review of its December 14 Rafale judgment.
Petitioners in the case are former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, journalist-turned-politician Arun Shourie and activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
The top court bench comprising CJI Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Joseph had on March 14 reserved the order on the “preliminary issue and the claim of privilege by the government”.
The government, aborting earlier deal to acquire 126 fighter jets, opted for 36 Rafale jets in ready-to-fly condition. Of the 126 jets in the earlier deal, most were to be manufactured at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).
The government seeking privilege over the documents annexed by Sinha, Shourie and Bhushan had sought removal of three “privileged” documents from the case records which has put in public domain the information relating to the deal and the fighter jet.
The government had initially claimed that the documents were stolen but later backtracked and changed its stance saying that they were “unauthorisedly photocopied”.
With inputs from IANS.