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Rafale case: Petitioners submitted misleading records, national security in jeopardy: Centre tells SC

FE Online

The government on Wednesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court in connection with the Rafale fighter jet case. The government said that documents put by the petitioners in review plea have serious implications on national security.

The government submitted that the selective, incomplete facts and records by petitioners aimed at misleading court which is damaging to national security, adding that documents unauthorisedly produced are exempt from disclosure under Right to Information Act.

The government told the apex court that petitioners Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan are guilty of leaking sensitive information and the unauthorised photocopy of Rafale documents adversely affected Sovereignty, Security, friendly relations with foreign nations. It added that the petitioners used unauthorisedly accessed docs to present a selective, incomplete picture of internal deliberations on national security, defence.

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It added that those who conspired in photocopying sensitive documents without Centre’s consent to annex it in petition committed theft and the documents in review plea sensitive, relate to combat aircraft and available to adversaries putting national security in jeopardy. The government also committed for utmost concern over leakage, to find out where it took place so in future sanctity of decision-making process is maintained.

Former BJP ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan have moved petitions in the Supreme Court seeking review of its December 14 order into the much-debated Rafale deal with France. In their petitions, they have pointed out errors on the face of the record of impugned judgment.

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Pointing out that the CAG report on pricing details that the court had taken note of is yet to be concluded, they said that the Modi government has blatantly misled the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court had on December 14 set aside a batch of petitions seeking a probe by the CBI into the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France in 2015 for approximately Rs 58,000 crore. The court had observed that the deal was in accordance with the set procedures.