FORMER UNION ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, along with advocate Prashant Bhushan, approached the Supreme Court on Wednesday seeking review of its decision to reject demands for a probe into the Rafale deal.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had, on December 14, dismissed all PILs against the deal, saying there was no occasion to “really doubt the decision-making process”.
Citing “errors” in the judgment, the review petition said the court relied on “patently incorrect claims made by the government in an unsigned note given in a sealed cover”. The petition said the verdict was “based on disputed questions of facts in respect of which an investigation needs to be done. As the judgment is based on evidently false averments in the note not shared with the petitioners… the entire judgment ought to be not just reviewed but recalled”.
The plea said the judgment does not discuss the “dereliction of…duty” by CBI “to register an FIR” on their complaint in the matter.
It referred to the confusion over paragraph 24 of the judgment that “the pricing details have however been shared with the Comptroller and Auditor General…and the report of the CAG has been examined by the Public Accounts Committee” and that “only a redacted portion of the report was placed before the Parliament and is in public domain”.
The petition termed this as “patently false”, saying “the CAG is yet to conclude its audit of the contract”. “The report has not been finalised so there is no question of it having been examined by the PAC or a redacted report having been placed before Parliament and being in the public domain,” it said.
Referring to the application filed by the government seeking correction of the judgment, the review plea said the “said application imputes that three Honourable Justices misinterpreted that one paragraph in the same manner, which is highly improbable”.
It said that as per rules, “a judgment pronounced by the court or by a majority of the court or by a dissenting judge in open court shall not afterwards be altered or added to, save for the purpose of correcting a clerical or arithmetical mistake or an error arising from an accidental slip or omission”.
The court relying on the CAG’s report was not a “clerical or arithmetical mistake or an error arising from an accidental slip or omission…”, the petition said. “This error apparent can only be corrected under rules dealing with review or by recalling it,” it said. It also contended that the judgment “confused” Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries with Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure.