Centre files fresh Affidavit in Top Court on Rafale Case; says ‘monitoring of PMO can’t dubbed as parallel negotiations’

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The Central Government on Saturday filed a fresh affidavit in Rafale deal in the Supreme Court, saying the December 14, 2018 judgement upholding 36 Rafale jets’ deal was correct and unsubstantiated media reports and/or part internal file notings deliberately projected in a selective manner cannot form the basis for review, reported news agency ANI.

The Centre in its fresh response to the court said that all the files related to Rafale Deal were submitted to CAG. It is noteworthy that the Centre had in Budget Session tabled the CAG report on the Rafale Deal. It is claimed that NDA deal is cheaper 2.86% than UPA’. However, there was no mention of ‘Pricing’ in the entire CAG report.

The Centre also accused petitioners — Yashwant Sinha, Prashant Bhushan, and Arun Shourie – of relying on subsequent information, which is nothing but unsubstantiated media reports. The Centre asserted that these media reports presented by the petitioner cannot form the basis for a review.

In its 13-page reply, Centre also said that ‘PMO monitoring the whole process can’t be dubbed as parallel negotiations’. ‘Monitoring of progress by PMO of this Government to Government process cannot be construed as interference or parallel negotiations’, said Centre in the affidavit.

Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi has repeatedly accused PM Modi of holding parallel negotiations with the French Government to benefit Businessman Anil Ambani. Gandhi has accused PM Modi of bypassing the negotiation process.

Central Government had on Monday earlier this week filed a reply in the Top Court seeking more time to file a fresh plea in connection with Rafale review petition case.

Earlier on April 10, the three-judge Top Court bench headed by the CJI Ranjan Gogoi giving a major jolt to Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central Government unanimously rejected the objections raised by Government against the review pleas filed for apex court’s decision on the Rafale deal.

The Top Court also allowed the admissibility of three documents in Rafale deal as evidence in re-examining the review petitions filed against the SC’s December 14 judgement refusing to order probe in procuring 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

The Highest Court further said Rafale review pleas will be heard in detail by the court. The Top Court said, ‘as far as the question of hearing of review plea on Rafale judgement is concerned, it will give a detailed hearing later on’.

READ: Rafale Case: Setback to Centre as SC rejects Govt’s Objection on ‘leaked’ Docs; Court to examine ‘privileged’ Docs

Background

The Supreme Court on December 14 rejected the Petition filed seeking a court-monitored CBI-led investigation into the Rafale deal involving ₹59,000 crores for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets. A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that there is no reason to doubt the deal.

Several Review Petitions include one joint by Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan and Yashwant Sinha were filed against SC Verdict of December 14, and the Top Court is hearing those review petitions.

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