The Centre has told the Supreme Court that categorical and emphatic findings recorded by the top court in its December 14 last year verdict in the Rafale deal case has no apparent error warranting its review.
It said the petitioners, in the garb of seeking review of the verdict and placing reliance on some press reports and some incomplete internal file notings procured unauthorisedly and illegally, cannot seek to re-open the whole matter since the scope of review petition is extremely limited.
The Centre’s reply came on pleas filed by former Union ministers Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist-advocate Prashant Bhushan seeking review of the December 14 verdict by which their plea seeking probe into alleged irregularities in the multi-crore Rafale fighter jet deal was dismissed.
Two other review petitions have been filed by AAP leader Sanjay Singh and advocate Vineet Dhandha.
All the review petitions are scheduled to be taken up for hearing next week by a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
The review petition…is an attempt to get a fishing and roving inquiry ordered, which this court has specifically declined to go into based on perception of individuals. A non-existent distinction is sought to be created between an inquiry by the CBI and the court by playing on words, the Centre affidavit said.
It added that the review petitioners were relying on information which are based on unsubstantial media reports or part of internal file notings deliberately projected in a selective manner which cannot form the basis for a review of the verdict.
Secret document versus public domain
Departments dealing with subjects mentioned above if they are stolen and placed in public domain by the Press or a Website.
The Centre pointed out that all papers and files have been made available to the CAG who has given his report concluding that the price of 36 Rafale is 2.86 per cent lower than the audit aligned price, apart from additional benefits which would accrue because of change from firm and fixed pricing to non-firm price.
It said that waiver of sovereign or bank guarantee in government-to-government agreements or contracts is not unusual.
Furthermore, assuming that Dassault Aviation or MBDA France meet difficulties in the execution of their respective supply protocols and would have to reimburse all or part of the intermediary payments to the Government of the Republic of India, the Government of the French Republic will take appropriate measures so as to make sure that said payments or reimbursements will be made at the earliest, it said while seeking dismissal of the review plea.
In an another reply to an application filed by review petitioners, the Centre said that monitoring of the progress by PMO of this government-to-government process cannot be construed as interference or parallel negotiations.