Rafale deal verdict: Supreme Court says will hear plea seeking review of December judgment

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Rafale review petitions: The Supreme Court today agreed to hear petitions seeking a review of its judgment giving a clean chit to the central government in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France. Advocate Prashant Bhushan urged to court for an urgent hearing on the review petitions. The petitions also seek perjury proceedings against government officials who have misled the court about facts through unsigned confidential notes. The court said that it will consider listing old pleas. Will do something for the listing of the case as a bench is to be constituted for it, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said. In its judgment passed in December 2018, the Supreme Court had dismissed pleas urging the court to pass an order to launch a CBI probe into the deal signed between India and France in 2016. The court had observed that all defence procedures were followed and there was no occasion to doubt the decision-making process of the government. The petitions were filed Bhushan, former BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and others. The Congress party and opposition have been firing salvos at the government over alleged fraudulent in the purchase of fighter jets. The Congress has claimed that PM Narendra Modi was running a parallel negotiation and was personally involved in the deal. Its president Rahul Gandhi has even said that PM Modi acted a middleman to favour his corporate friend Anil Ambani. The government, on its part, has rubbished all allegations and maintained that the deal was signed after following all set procedures. Also, the CAG report on the deal recently revealed that NDAs Rafale deal with France was 2.86% cheaper than what the erstwhile Congress-led had negotiated. It also said that the delivery schedule in the new deal is much better than what was proposed in negotiations during UPAs regime.

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