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Supreme Court gives government 4 days to file Rafale affidavit

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the Centre’s request for four weeks time for filing its response affidavit in the Rafale review petitions, which were ordered to be taken up for reconsideration based on “suppressed” documents published in the media.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan kaul and K.M. Joseph rejected the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal’s submission seeking four weeks for filing the reply. The CJI told the AG that the reply would have to be filed by Saturday and the matter would be taken up for hearing on May 6.

On April 10, the apex court had decided to hear the review on merits, rejecting the preliminary objections raised by Centre regarding admissibility of documents produced by petitioners. The petitioners have sought for review of the December 14, 2018 judgment dismissing the plea for probe into the corruption allegations in the Rafale deal.

During the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the Attorney General pleaded for four weeks time and pointed out that the court had not issued notice in the review petitions. Counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and for himself said applications had been filed seeking action for perjury. The AG said the Centre was opposing the plea.

Mr. Bhushan in his fresh application sought initiation of proceedings for perjury against official/s who made false statements and suppressed evidence while submitting information on ‘decision making process’, ‘offsets’, and ‘pricing’ pursuant to orders of this Court.

The application said information that has come into the public domain after the December 14 judgment prima facie shows that government ‘misled’ the Court on various counts and the basis of the judgment is more than one untruth submitted by the government and suppression of pertinent information. The untruths and suppression of information in the ‘notes’ constitute perjury and also contempt as the ‘notes’ were submitted pursuant to the orders of the Court.

It said that untruths and suppressions in the note intentionally gave false evidence in judicial proceedings.

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