New Delhi: After the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, directed the Centre to file response to the petitions seeking review of last December’s verdict, latest by May 4, Saturday. In its December 2018 verdict, the apex court had dismissed the pleas seeking probe into the Rafale warplane deal with France for alleged irregularities.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected the Centre’s plea to be granted four weeks’ time to file its response to the pleas.
The bench, also comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice KM Joseph, will hear the petitions on May 6.
In the previous verdict, the apex court had said there was no substantial evidence of commercial favouritism to any private entity.
However, former Union ministers Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha along with activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan have filed a petition seeking review of the December 14, 2018 verdict of the apex court giving clean chit to the Rafale deal. Besides them, Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh has also filed a separate review petition in the case.
The Supreme Court also noted that the documents protected under the Official Secrets Act were in “public domain” as it was published by Hindu and were “in consonance with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.”
The top court that no law enacted by Parliament specifically barring or prohibiting the publication of such documents on any of the grounds mentioned in Article 19(2) of the Constitution has been brought to its notice.