The on-going Rafale jet deal row took a fresh twist as certain documents were stolen from the Defence Ministry and a probe has been initiated into the matter, the Government reportedly told the Supreme Court.
This development came after the Supreme Court’s three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph began the open court hearing during which former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and advocate Prashant Bhushan, who had jointly filed the petition, alleged that the Centre suppressed crucial facts when the apex court decided to dismiss the batch of PILs against the Rafale deal in December
Attorney General (AG), KK Venugopal made the submission during the hearing on review petitions filed by various parties against its December 14, 2018, judgment in which it had refused to order a probe into the deal to procure 36 Rafale fighter planes from France.
“We are dealing with defence purchases which involve the security of the state. It is a very sensitive case,” he told the apex court adding that the Centre is considering the invoking the Official Secrets Act on this issue.
The Supreme Court last month allowed for an open court hearing of the Rafale review petitions.
According to a report by CNN-IBN, The Supreme Court came down heavily on the government for citing Pakistan’s use of F-16 fighter jets in the recent aerial confrontation to resist a probe into the acquisition of Rafale fighter jets from France.
Justice KM Joseph questioned Attorney General KK Venugopal if the government would take shelter under national security when the allegations is of grave crime and corruption.
The Supreme Court has now adjourned the case to March 14. So, the Rafale saga continues .