Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Rafale and Rahul Gandhi: Curious case of missing dates in Supreme Court

A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday refused to hear a plea seeking review of its December 2018 judgment in the Rafale deal case. It was deferred to May 10. The reason: hearing on the contempt case against Congress president Rahul Gandhi was not tagged with the case and listed for a separate hearing instead.

The review petition pertains to the examination of the Supreme Court judgment, which ruled out commercial favouritism as alleged by the petitioners Arun Shourie, Prashant Bhushan and Yashwant Sinha in the defence contract for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from French company Dassault Aviation.

The petitioners seek a review of the verdict saying new facts related to the case have emerged and that the government withheld information from the Supreme Court in the matter leading to what is widely perceived as a clean chit to the government in Rafale deal case.

The contempt case against Rahul Gandhi relates to his statement where he attributed his chwokidar chor hai (watchman is a thief) slogan to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow leaked documents cited by the Bhushan and other petitioners seeking review of the Rafale deal judgment. The government had objected to the documents claiming protection under the Official Secrets Act.
07/05/19 Prabhash K Dutta/India Today

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