New Delhi, March 13: The Centre on Wednesday, in an affidavit before the Supreme Court in relation with the Rafale deal, said that the petitioners in their review petition while relying on unauthorisedly accessed documents, have attached sensitive documents related to the war capacity of combat aircraft and put the national security in jeopardy as well as adversely affected the sovereignty, security and friendly relations with the foreign countries.
As per the affidavit,
"The selective and incomplete presentation of the facts and records by the petitioners are intended to mislead this court into deriving wrong conclusions which are very damaging to National Security and public interest."
The government also added that the petitioners in the case Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and activist advocate Prashant Bhushan seeking review of the December 14, 2018 verdict are guilty of leaking sensitive information of Rafale deal, which offends the terms of the agreements.
It was likewise added that those responsible for the leakage of sensitive official documents affecting National Security are guilty of penal offences under the Indian Penal Code.
It is to be noted that the trio moved Review Petitions in the Supreme Court, which in December 2018, dismissed all PILs seeking a probe into alleged irregularities in Rafale deal with France's Dassault Aviation stating that the perception of individuals cannot form the basis for interference.
The affidavit also informed the Court that an internal enquiry has been commenced on February 28 with the prime motive to find out where the leakage of the sensitive documents took place.
The affidavit also stated that the documents on which the petition relied belong to a class wherein the Government of India is entitled to claim privilege under Section 123, 124 of the Indian Evidence Act. Furthermore, the petitioners are not authorised to produce such documents before the court without obtaining the explicit permission of the Government of India, Ministry of Defence.
Pertinently, During the hearing of March 6 before a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Attorney General K K Venugopal accused that certain confidential government documents were stolen from the Ministry and alleged that the petitioners are relying on stolen evidence.
However, two days later, Mr.Venugopal took a U-turn from his statement and claimed that he had meant in his submission that petitioners have used photocopies of the original papers, which are considered secret by the government.
The plea for recall of the judgment alleged that the Supreme Court's judgement relied upon a non-existent Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report as the judgement said that the CAG report was finalised and examined before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which were apparently “incorrect claims” made by the Centre.