In a sensational development , the Centre’s Narendra Modi government on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that documents related to the Rafale deal were stolen from the ministry of defence. Attorney General KK Venugopal, according to news agency PTI, said that documents relating to the Rafale deal, which advocate Prashant Bhushan has been relying on, were stolen from the ministry of defence.
Venugopal said, “Investigation is under way on the documents relating to the Rafale deal being stolen.”
Venugopal urged the top court to dismiss the review petition in the case and a perjury application, and argued that the documents were marked secret and classified, and revealing them was a violation of the Official Secrets Act.
The review petition is being heard by a Supreme Court Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Gogoi, Justice SK Kaul and Justice KM Joseph. In December last year, the Congress had accused the Modi government of lying in the Supreme Court, which had refused to order an inquiry in the alleged scam involving the purchase of Rafale jets.
“Those who put documents on the Rafale deal in public domain are guilty under the Official Secrets Act and contempt of court,” PTI quoted him as saying.
Venugopal said that The Hindu report on the Rafale deal amounted to influencing a Supreme Court hearing and that in itself was contempt of court.
Prashant Bhushan said that the AG’s statements were an attempt to intimidate the petitioners and to stop them from bringing truth to the Court, such action by AG amounts to contempt of court, reported Livelaw website.
- Court adjourns further hearing to March 14
- “Every person in this country can look into these documents; but the Court cannot. Interesting proposition by AG!”, says Arun Shourie arguing the Supreme Court
- Petitioner Prashant Bhushan tells the Court ‘In Coalgate and 2G scam cases I brought documents from a whistleblower.’ (ANI)
- In this limited area concerning defence of frontiers, would it not be appropriate for Your Lordships to exercise restraint. This is a matter by which opposition is trying to destabilise the government, AG KK Venugopal. (Bar and Bench)
- AG Venugopal cites a 2004 Supreme Court judgment that illegally obtained evidence cannot be relied upon. Justice KM Joseph asks whether this principle propounded by AG should be applied in Bofors case? Can that case also be shut out.
- Justice Kaul to AG Venugopal: “The documents having come before us, you can’t say that we cannot look into them”