SC reserves verdict on Rafale review, Rahul's contempt case
Cong president told Apex court that he has already tendered an unconditional apology and the criminal contempt proceedings against him should be closed
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday reserved verdict on petitions challenging its December 14 judgment against a probe into the controversial fighter jet deal. The court also reserved its orders on the contempt proceedings against Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking review of its December 14 judgment last year which had dismissed the pleas challenging India's agreement with France to procure 36 Rafale fighter jets.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, during two-hour-long hearing, referred to various aspects including alleged suppression of material facts from the court and said that an FIR should have been lodged and a criminal investigation launched into the case.
He also referred to the documents relating to alleged parallel negotiations being undertaken by the PMO and said that three members of the Indian Negotiation Team had objected to the parallel negotiations.
He said that a prima facie cognisable offence has been committed and it warranted registration of the FIR.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, objected to the review petition and said that the basic grounds for seeking review of the verdict are the same as they were in the main petition.
The petitioners are seeking review of the judgment on the basis of secret "stolen documents". He also referred to the secrecy clause of the inter-governmental agreement between India and France and said that this matter pertains to defence deals and not to the award of contract for construction of flyover or dams. Venugopal sought dismissal of the review petitions.
In the contempt case, Congress President Rahul Gandhi told the Supreme Court that he has already tendered unconditional apology for "wrongly attributing" to it the "chowkidar chor hai" remarks and the criminal contempt proceedings against him should be closed.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi reserved the verdict on the criminal contempt plea filed against him by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi.
Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for Gandhi, told the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, that the Congress President has already tendered unconditional apology and has expressed regret over the wrongful attribution to the apex court.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, told the bench that the apology tendered by Gandhi should be rejected and action must be taken against him as per the law. Rohatgi also argued that the court should ask Gandhi to make an apology to the public for his remarks.