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On Rafale, SC to decide whether 'stolen' documents can be evidence

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will Wednesday deliver its verdict on whether documents sourced from the Defence Ministry by the media without authorisation can be used as "evidence" in the Rafale fighter jet case.

While petitioner Prashant Bhushan wanted the top court to examine articles published in The Hindu and order a CBI probe into the matter, the centre opposed it because documents were photocopied without due permission.

The Supreme Court had ruled in December last year that it has found nothing wrong with the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft negotiated by the Narendra Modi government. Four public interest litigations seeking a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale deal were also dismissed.

However, the court agreed to hear review petitions on its previous verdict last month.

In a series of reports on the deal, The Hindu said that the defence ministry had objected to "parallel negotiations" for Rafale jets by the Prime Minister's Office at a time when talks were on for a previous deal under the UPA government. Another report said the deal became more expensive for India because of France's refusal to provide bank guarantees.

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